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Glucagon Injections

Glucagon Injections - Hormone Replacement Therapy LA

Glucagon injections are common and used to regulate blood sugar levels. While Glucagon injections may not directly help you lose weight, there’s GLP-1 receptor agonists can help you. Let’s talk about glucagon injections and how does it work. 

If you need more information about glucagon injections or want to know how this can help you regulate your glucose level, talk to us at Hormone Replacement Therapy LA

What is glucagon, and how does it work?

Glucagon is a hormone produced by your pancreas that plays a crucial role in regulating your blood glucose (sugar) levels [1]. 

1. Function of Glucagon:

When your blood sugar levels drop too low (a condition known as hypoglycemia), your pancreas releases glucagon.

Glucagon has several functions to help raise blood glucose levels:

  • Glycogenolysis: It triggers your liver to convert stored glucose (glycogen) into a usable form and release it into your bloodstream. This process ensures a steady supply of glucose for your body’s energy needs.
  • Gluconeogenesis: Glucagon helps your body make glucose from other sources, such as amino acids.
  • Inhibition of Glucose Storage: It prevents your liver from taking in and storing glucose, allowing more glucose to remain in your blood.

2. Release and Triggers:

Glucagon is produced by the alpha cells in the pancreas. It is released in response to:

  • A drop in blood sugar levels.
  • Prolonged fasting.
  • Exercise.
  • Protein-rich meals.

3. Synthetic Glucagon:

  • There’s a synthetic form of glucagon available for emergency situations.
  • People with Type 1 diabetes use it when they experience very low blood sugar.
  • Synthetic glucagon prompts the liver to release stored glucose, effectively raising blood sugar levels.

What are glucagon injections?

Glucagon injections are made versions of human glucagon. The synthetic glucagon is made by genetic engineering using E. coli bacteria [2]. 

Glucagon is used to treat hypoglycemia or lower blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. Not only that, but it’s also used for radiologic examination of the large and small intestines.

The medicine orders the liver to produce glucose and increase blood sugar. The effects start with 10 to 15 minutes after the patient takes the medicine.

How do glucagon injections work in the body?

The injections raise blood sugar levels in the body by signaling the liver to convert the stored glycogen to glucose. Glucagon then travels through the bloodstream to the liver and binds the glucagon receptors with liver cells. This activates a signaling pathway.

The liver then responds to the signaling by breaking down the glycogen that’s stored in the body. The glycogen then breaks down into glucose molecules through glycogenolysis. The liver also increases new glucose production from amino acids and other components.

The liver then releases the newly formed glucose into the blood, raising blood sugar levels. This helps regulate the body’s standard blood sugar levels. The increase in blood glucose signals the pancreas to decrease glucagon release while increasing insulin release. Once the insulin releases, the blood sugar level goes normal again.

Who might need a glucagon injection?

A glucagon injection is used during an emergency for type 1 diabetes. The injections are designed so that you can carry and use them yourself when you need to regulate your blood sugar.

Can anyone administer a glucagon injection?

Yes. If you’re suffering from severe hypoglycemia, it is important to use the injection as soon as possible. You should also train your friends and family to use the injection properly for dosage in case there’s an emergency.

How it works

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Is glucagon given IM or SQ?

Glucagon can be injected either intramuscularly (IM) or subcutaneously (SQ). The injection can be given in the thigh, upper arm, or buttocks. You or your loved ones should administer glucagon as soon as possible in case of severe hypoglycemia.

Is glucagon injection 1mg/mL and 1mg the same?

No, 1mg/mL and 1mg are not the same. 1mg/mL is a measure of concentration, which means that there is 1 milligram of glucagon in every milliliter of solution. 1mg is a measure of the amount of glucagon in a single dose

Do I need a prescription for glucagon injection?

Yes, you need a prescription from a doctor for the injection. The injection is used to treat hypoglycemia if a patient can’t eat, is having a seizure, and passed out. 

Can I use glucagon Injection for weight loss?

There is no evidence that glucagon injections can be used for weight loss. However, studies suggest that semaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, can benefit blood sugar control and weight loss. 

Is glucagon an IV?

It is not recommended to administer glucagon intravenously. Glucagon injections are mostly given intramuscularly (injecting into the muscles) and subcutaneously (injecting in the fatty tissue, just under the skin).

Can anyone use a glucagon injection kit, or is it specific to certain types of diabetes?

Anyone can use a glucagon injection kit in emergency situations, regardless of the type of diabetes. These kits are designed for rapid administration when someone experiences severe hypoglycemia.

1. Type of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes individuals are more likely to encounter severe hypoglycemia due to their reliance on insulin injections. However, Type 2 diabetes individuals can also experience low blood sugar, especially if they take certain medications that stimulate insulin production or enhance insulin sensitivity.

2. Who Can Administer Glucagon

Family members, friends, or caregivers of someone with diabetes should learn how to use a glucagon kit. It’s essential to know the correct steps for administering the injection.

3. Emergency Situations

Use a glucagon injection when the person:

  • Is unconscious or unable to swallow.
  • Shows signs of severe hypoglycemia (confusion, seizures, etc.).
  • Cannot consume oral carbohydrates (such as glucose tablets or juice).

4. Travel and Preparedness:

  • Carry a glucagon emergency kit during travel or outdoor activities.
  • Ensure that those around you know how to use it.

How should the injection be stored?

Store the glucagon kit at room temperature (around 68°F to 77°F or 20°C to 25°C). Avoid extreme temperatures (both too hot and too cold), as they can affect the stability of the medication.

Are there alternative treatments for severe hypoglycemia besides glucagon injections?

Are there alternative treatments for severe hypoglycemia besides glucagon injections

1. Oral Glucose:

If the person is conscious and able to swallow, giving them oral glucose is a quick way to raise blood sugar levels.

Common sources of oral glucose include:

  • Glucose tablets: These are specifically designed for this purpose.
  • Fruit juice: Orange juice or any other fruit juice with natural sugars.
  • Regular soda: The sugar content in soda can help elevate blood sugar.
  • Hard candy: Choose non-chocolate candies that contain sugar.

2. Carbohydrate-Rich Snacks:

If the person can eat, provide them with a snack rich in carbohydrates.

Examples include:

  • Crackers
  • Raisins
  • Granola bars
  • Pretzels

3. Intramuscular Glucagon:

While we discussed glucagon injections earlier, there’s an alternative method. Some glucagon kits come with a nasal spray or intramuscular pen instead of an injection. These options are more user-friendly and don’t require mixing or drawing up the medication.

4. Dextrose Gel:

Dextrose gel is a concentrated form of glucose. It’s applied directly to the inside of the cheek or gums. This gel is especially useful for individuals who have difficulty swallowing.

5. Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM):

CGM devices continuously monitor blood sugar levels.

They provide real-time data and can alert the person or their caregiver when levels drop too low.

Early intervention can prevent severe hypoglycemia.

Glucagon Injections Near Me

Hormone Replacement Therapy  LA offers the best Glucagon Injections near me in Beverly Hills but can also come to your home or office throughout the Los Angeles area. We serve patients near Beverly Hills, Bel Air, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Culver City, Hollywood, Venice, Marina del Rey, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Downtown Los Angeles, Encino, Woodland Hills, Sherman Oaks, Calabasas, Burbank, Glendale, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills, Northridge, North Hollywood, Topanga, Canoga Park, Reseda, Valley Glen, Chatsworth, West Hills, Winnetka, Universal City, Silverlake, Echo Park, and many more.


  1. Rix I, Nexøe-Larsen C, Bergmann NC, et al. Glucagon Physiology. [Updated 2019 Jul 16]. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Blackman MR, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA):, Inc.; 2000-. Available from:
  2. Ishizaki J, Tamaki M, Shin M, Tsuzuki H, Yoshikawa K, Teraoka H, Yoshida N. Production of recombinant human glucagon in the form of a fusion protein in Escherichia coli; recovery of glucagon by sequence-specific digestion. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 1992 Jan;36(4):483-6. doi: 10.1007/BF00170188. PMID: 1368201.

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