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Glucagon

Last updated on 03/08/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Glucagon

CHINESE NAME: 昇糖素

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: GlucaGen Hypokit 昇糖精

DRUG CLASS: Glucose-elevating agents

SUB CLASS: Hormones

USED FOR: Hypoglycaemia

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS:
– 1mg/ml (injections)

What is Glucagon for?

Glucagon is a natural hormone found in our body. Glucagon raises blood sugar levels, whereas the hormone insulin lowers blood sugar levels. Both hormones work together to keep blood sugar levels stable and provide the body with the energy it requires. Glucagon can be injected into our bodies to treat severe hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels) emergencies.

How to use it?

Glucagon is injected under the skin or into a muscle or a vein as directed by your doctor in case of very low blood sugar levels. You may need to administer Glucagon at home, either to yourself or to a family member.

The usual administration dose is 1 mg for adults and children over 25 kg, or 0.5 mg for children under 25 kg. When the patient responds to Glucagon, give oral carbohydrates (sugar) immediately. If the patient does not respond within 10 minutes, glucose will be administered directly into the vein via a needle. Glucagon administration may be repeated if necessary.

GlucaGen Hypokit Bydureon® comes as a  dry powder. Mix the dry powder with the syringe of sterile water that comes with the kit. Do not use any other liquid to mix the medicine. Inject all contents in the syringe (1 ml) into the skin. For children who need 0.5 ml, slowly push the plunger down until it is at the 0.5 ml mark on the syringe.

What are the side effects of Glucagon?

Common side effects of Glucagon include nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure or increased heart rate.

Who should not take Glucagon?

– People who are allergic to Glucagon or any component of the formulation
– Patients with insulinoma or glucagonoma (tumours in the pancreas)
– Patients with pheochromocytoma (tumours in the adrenal gland)

Pharmacist Tips:

– Use Glucagon injections exactly as directed by your doctor.
– Make sure you and your family know how to use Glucagon injections during hypoglycemic emergencies.
– Seek emergency medical help and inform your doctor right after you use Glucagon.
– Eat sugary food/drinks such as candies, regular soft drink or fruit juice as soon as you are able to swallow.
– Non-drug management, including diet and exercise, also plays an important role in controlling diabetes.

Common dosing schedule:
Glucagon can be injected in the upper arm, thigh or buttocks during hypoglycemic emergencies.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Glucagon may interact with:
– Beta-blockers, e.g. Bisoprolol, Metoprolol, Propranolol
– Anticholinergics, e.g. Tiotropium, Atropine, Benzhexol
– Insulin
Indomethacin
Warfarin

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Glucagon in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Glucagon is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Glucagon in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.