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Basic Skills

Giving Emergency Glucagon

By in Basic Skills

Administering glucagon in an emergency situation is a key skill in diabetes care.

Glucagon helps raise glucose levels when someone is experiencing a very severe low and who may be unconscious, having a seizure, or is unable to swallow.  Currently, there are three methods to give glucagon.

The first form of Glucagon is called Baqsimi.  It is a nasal powder that is given as a puff in the nose.  It comes in a yellow, sealed container, is approved for children 4 years and older. It is very easy to use.  Watch a video on how to use Baqsimi.

The second form of Glucagon is called Gvoke. It is a liquid stable glucagon. It is an injection that is administered through a small subcutaneous syringe.  It is available in two pre-filled, pre-measured doses: An adult dose of 1 mg and a pediatric dose of 0.5mg.  Watch a video to learn more about Gvoke.

The final form is intramuscular Glucagon and has been used for many years. It is administered by injection and comes in a red or orange kit.  It comes in two parts:  a syringe and a vial, and the contents need to be mixed prior to injecting. It is not premeasured so the dose must be known before administering.

See the glucagon comparison chart for more information.

Remember, with any form of glucagon, you cannot overdose the person who is having a severe low. Speak with your diabetes care team to discuss the type of glucagon that might be best for you or family member and to receive training on Glucagon administration.


Updated 3/8/20

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

Treating Hypoglycemia: The Rule of 15

What is Hypoglycemia?

Causes of Highs and Lows

Understanding Glucose Numbers

Wearing a Medical Alert




Lilly Glucagon