Increases blood glucose level by stimulating glycogenesis (formation of glucagon). Unknown mechanism of stabilizing cardiac rhythm in beta-blocker overdose. Minimal positive inotropic and chronotropic response. Decrease gastrointestinal motility and secretions.
Altered level of consciousnesss when hypoglycemia is suspected. May be used as inotropic (affecting the contractility of cardiac muscle tissue) agent in beta-blocker overdose.
Nausea, vomiting, tachycardia, hypertension.
Incompatible in solution with most other substances. No significant drug interactions with other emergency medications
1mg ampules (requires reconstitution with dilutent provided)
Dosage and administration
Adult:hypoglycemia: 0.5-1mg IM; may repeat in 7-10 min.
Calcium channel blocker or beta-blocker overdose: 3mg initially, followed by infusion at 3mg/hr as necessary.
Pediatric: Hypoglycemia: 0.5-1mg IM (for children <20kg).
Calcium channel blocker or beta blocker overdose: not recommended.
Duration of action
Onset: 1 minute
Peak effect: 30 minutes
Duration: variable (generally 9-17 minutes)
Pregnancy safety: Category C. Ineffective if glycogen stores depleted. Should always be used in conjuction with 50% dextrose whenever possible. If Pt. does not respond to second dose glucagon, 50% dextrose must be administered.