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What is GlucaGen (Glucagon)?

What is GlucaGen® (Glucagon)?

GlucaGen® is a synthetic version of Glucagon a natural hormone which makes your liver release its glucose stores and so raises the blood glucose (BG).

It has an opposite effect to insulin. GlucaGen is kept in the fridge and the date needs to be checked regularly. Get a new prescription to replace out-of-date GlucaGen and dispose of the old one.

GlucaGen powder in the bottle needs to be mixed with the liquid in the syringe until it dissolves. Do not shake too much as you will get lots of bubbles. Ask the Diabetes team if you are not sure or have forgotten about this.

Glucagen Pen

How do I use GlucaGen?

Make up the full quantity of the GlucaGen and then give the dose according to your child’s weight:

  • if your child’s weight is less than 25kg, give them half of the injection
  • if your child’s weight is 25kg or more, give them the full injection

Inject the needle of GlucaGen into the fattest part of your child’s leg or bottom. It can take a few minutes to work, and they may feel very sick afterwards.

Check your child’s blood glucose again after 10 minutes.

Once your child is awake, make sure they eat something sugary to prevent secondary hypoglycaemia.

If your child is on a pump, restart it when their blood glucose reading is normal but keep on a temporary basal rate of 80% for the next 2 hours.


Please be aware that for a week or so after a severe hypoglycaemia, your child can be more at risk of hypos. It is important to check their blood glucose more frequently and to reduce insulin doses if their blood glucose levels are running low. Inform the diabetes team if your child has had any hypos where they have needed help, and especially if they have had severe hypos were you have used GlucaGen.

If you are anxious about using and making up GlucaGen, use an old out of date GlucaGen kit to practice with. If you are not sure on how to use it, check with your child’s diabetes team.

Make sure you replace the GlucaGen if used.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: DIA1

Resource Type: Article

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