Giving a glucagon injection
Choose the injection site: Step 1
Choose a clean injection site on the buttock, upper arm, or thigh. If an alcohol swab is available, use it to clean the skin where you will give the injection.
Hold the needle close to the skin: Step 2
Hold the syringe like a pencil close to the site, keeping your fingers off the plunger.
Insert the needle: Step 3
Bend your wrist, and quickly push the needle all the way into the site.
Give the injection: Step 4
Push the plunger of the syringe all the way in so that the medicine goes into the tissue. Give the amount of glucagon that the person’s doctor has recommended. Remove the needle from the skin slowly and at the same angle that you inserted it. Press the alcohol swab, if you used one, against the injection site.
Turn the head to the side: Step 5
After giving the injection, turn the person’s head to the side, to prevent choking if he or she vomits.
Call for emergency help: Step 6
After you give the glucagon shot, immediately call 911 or other emergency services. If emergency services have not arrived within 15 minutes and the person is still unconscious, give another glucagon shot.
Give quick-sugar food: Step 7
Give some glucose or sucrose tablets or quick-sugar food when the person is alert and able to swallow. Also give the person some long-acting source of carbohydrate such as crackers and cheese or a meat sandwich. Stay with the person until emergency help arrives.
Current as of: April 16, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD – Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine & David C.W. Lau MD, PhD, FRCPC – Endocrinology