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When to Administer Glucagon

Glucagon is a hormone used by the body to control blood sugar levels. It is often administered in emergency situations, such as when a person is unconscious or otherwise unable to increase blood sugar by eating and/or drinking.
 
When will you know if it is working? As a rule of thumb, a person typically will awaken within 15 minutes after glucagon has been administered. If they don't, give another dose and seek immediate medical attention.
 
There are a few situations where it's not advised to administer glucagon. Because glucagon relies on the liver's stores of glycogen, it does not work in situations where the liver is depleted of glycogen. These situations might include:
 
  • Starvation or fasting
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Chronic (long-term) hypoglycemia
  • Alcohol-induced hypoglycemia.
     
(For more information on when to administer this drug, click Glucagon Dosage. This article also talks about the factors that will affect a person's dose and explains what to do if you fear you are giving too much.)
 
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