Emergency Glucagon: Everything You Need to Know


Glucagon is a hormone that tells your liver to release its stored sugar (also known as glycogen) into your bloodstream. Emergency glucagon treatments can raise your blood sugar during severe hypoglycemia.

Anyone who takes insulin (or another medication that can cause low blood sugars) should have an emergency glucagon treatment.

Here, you can learn everything you need to know about glucagon!

Glucagon Basics

Learn what glucagon is and how it can be used during severe low blood sugars.



Glucagon raises your blood sugar (treating hypoglycemia) while insulin lowers it (treating hyperglycemia or preventing it when taken before eating).MORE

Hypoglycemia and How to Treat It

If you take insulin to manage your diabetes, learning how to prevent or safely manage hypoglycemia is a must!MORE
getting emergency glucagon

How to Get Emergency Glucagon: CoPay Cards & Insurance Denials

If you take insulin or a medication that can cause low blood sugar, having an emergency glucagon treatment is a must -- it could save your life. Here, we’ll look at getting insurance coverage for em...MORE

How to Ask Your Primary Care Provider for Glucagon

Your doctor may not know about emergency glucagon, why you need it, and the newest types available. Here's how to ask for it...MORE

Newer Types of Glucagon

While there was only one type of emergency glucagon for decades, there are several newer and easier-to-use options available today!

Mini-dosing of Glucagon in Everyday Diabetes Management

If the pancreas of someone without Type 1 uses glucagon naturally to help maintain stability of blood sugars, can people with Type 1 also benefit from using glucagon in non-emergency situations? What ...MORE

All About Gvoke HypoPen®

Anyone who takes insulin and other medications that cause low blood sugar should know about the premixed insulin Gvoke HypoPen.MORE

Zegalogue® Is Now Commercially Available In The United States

Zegalogue®, also known as dasiglucagon, is now commercially available in the U.S. for the treatment of severe hypoglycemia.MORE
nasal glucagon

All About Nasal Glucagon

Nasal glucagon can save the life of someone experiencing severe hypoglycemia. Learn everything you need to know...MORE

When to Use Glucagon

Let’s talk about when glucagon can be used to reverse severe low blood sugar and save your life.

When Should You *Actually* Use Glucagon?

I was taught that glucagon is only ever used after someone with diabetes has passed out from a low blood sugar. Turns out, that's not true.MORE
teaching non-diabetics about severe low blood sugar

Save a Life: It’s Time to Learn About Glucagon

Easy as an EpiPen, learn how to save a life with glucagon — because someone you know can have severe hypoglycemia, even if you don't know it!MORE
emergency glucagon

Can EMTs + Paramedics Administer Emergency Glucagon for Severe Hypoglycemia?

Despite today’s modern 1-step glucagon options, the rules on who can administer glucagon have not been updated. MORE
Emergency medical technicians

Can Emergency Responders in Your Town Administer Glucagon?

Not every emergency responder can administer glucagon. Find out whether an EMT near you can—and what to do if they can’t!MORE

Easing Worry and Anxiety

Low blood sugars are scary. Keeping glucagon with you at all times can help you cope with anxiety and worry about severe lows.

Coping with Fear of Hypoglycemia

This panel features opinions from a psychologist, CDE and patient regarding fears of hypoglycemia and ways they can be assuaged -- one of which involves having tools at your disposal. MORE
low blood sugar anxiety

Low Blood Sugars & Anxiety While Returning to Your Busy Routine

Easing back into "regular" life can increase your anxiety about low blood sugars and diabetes management. Here are a few tips to help:MORE

Yes, I Have Low Blood Sugars with Type 2 Diabetes

Living with type 2 diabetes has its ups and its downs, including having low blood sugar. We also experience lows!MORE

Prepared for School with Glucagon

Whether you’re in kindergarten or close to graduating college, glucagon is a must!

Low Box for College/University

Know the symptoms of hypoglycemia and how to treat it. Also, teach others so that they can help you if you need it. Make sure to always have low snacks on you and a low box in a central location that ...MORE

The RA’s Guide to Type 1 Diabetes

As an RN, here is everything you need to know about your resident with type 1 diabetes and how you can be helpful to their success in college/university.MORE

10 Things Mom Says to do at College

Watching you head to college would be plenty difficult if you still had a stellar-working pancreas, but there are extra worries and concerns we carry because we know the demands your T1 will put on yo...MORE

6 Must-knows for the College Sick Day with T1D

The day you send your T1D kiddo to college is a stressful one. Here is my advice on the 6 must-knows for your T1D college sick day.MORE

How to Help Others With Low Blood Sugar Levels at School

If your classmate or student has type 1 diabetes, you can support them by learning how to spot the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar.MORE

Preparing For Back to School with Type 1 Diabetes

If you have type 1 diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels at school means you need to come prepared for anything at school.MORE

Prepared for Everyday Life with Glucagon

Wherever you go, it’s always nice to have glucagon nearby.

Daily Diabetes Care Kit

The type 1 diabetes (T1D) Daily Kit is full of the everyday supplies that you need living day-to-day with type 1 diabetes. For emergency care tips, check out the Natural Disaster Emergency Kit. Your d...MORE

Food Poisoning Risks with Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes can cause the body to have a delayed reaction when recognizing a foreign body or bacteria. This can result in the food borne pathogen lingering in your digestive system for awhile prior to it...MORE

Your Type 1 Guide to Music Festivals

As with any event that includes being exposed to the elements, large crowds, and lots of physical exertion, those with Type 1 diabetes should always be prepared and take extra precautions before the f...MORE

T1D Camping Essentials

If you are traveling to the mountains, the lake, or the woods this summer, what activity could be more fun and freeing than pitching a tent and camping for a couple of nights with friends and family? ...MORE

Doing it Your Way—Packing Diabetes Supplies

They had more supplies — more duplicates in preparation for failure. Maybe twenty-two years in, I was still doing this all wrong?MORE

Why Glucagon Might Not Work with Alcohol

You may have heard that glucagon is ineffective in treating low blood sugar when you're drinking. But why doesn't glucagon work with alcohol? Turns out, there are actual biological processe...MORE

Why Glucagon is a Must-Have for Sick Days with Diabetes

Getting sick when you have type 1 diabetes can easily complicate things. Glucagon is your best defense when it comes to sick day management. Here's why.MORE

A Frightening Lack of Glucagon Access in Mexico

When I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in a public hospital — Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) — I did not receive much explanation about hypoglycemia. All the information I received...MORE
calling 911 for severe hypoglycemia

The First Time I Called 911 After 51 Years of Type 1 Diabetes

Lisa Stoller has lived with type 1 diabetes for over 50 years before she ever needed emergency glucagon for severe hypoglycemia.MORE

Interviews About Glucagon

Discussing glucagon with patients, doctors and industry leaders.

I Think We Saved Our Son’s Life Last Night

I thought, “This is probably just a combination of a night terror (though he’s never had one before) and a low.” But, then it got weird and scary. He adamantly refused the juice now and was shak...MORE

What Saved My Son’s Life

As a mom to a teenage son with diabetes, I have dutifully filled his glucagon prescription for over 11 years. That choice saved his life.MORE

T1D Subway Nightmare

After experiencing a scary + rare type 1 diabetes episode with her son while waiting for an NYC subway, Jen recounts their family's nightmare.MORE

The Night My Son Nearly Died for a Sprite

After a day of good blood glucose readings, my son asked for a Sprite. Little did I know that could be his demise. Read our cautionary story.MORE

Dr. Steve Edelman on Hypoglycemia + Glucagon

I think the biggest issue today is people do not have a valid prescription for it. I always have this analogy, if you have a house or an apartment and it gets robbed and they steal everything that...MORE

The Future of Glucagon with Xeris Pharmaceuticals CEO Paul Edick

Beyond Type 1 recently sat down with Xeris Pharmaceuticals CEO Paul Edick to discuss the availability of their ready-to-use glucagon products, how the company was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, an...MORE

WRITTEN BY Ginger Vieira, POSTED 09/10/16, UPDATED 08/04/23

Ginger Vieira is an author and writer living with type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism. She’s authored a variety of books, including “When I Go Low” (for kids), “Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes,” and “Dealing with Diabetes Burnout.” Before joining Beyond Type 1 as digital content manager, Ginger wrote for Diabetes Mine, Healthline, T1D Exchange, Diabetes Strong and more! In her free time, she is jumping rope, scootering with her daughters, or walking with her handsome fella and their dog.