GlucaGen HypoKit

Also called glucagon

Easy-to-read medicine information about GlucaGen HypoKit – what it is, how to use it safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Used to treat hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
  • Glucagon

What is GlucaGen HypoKit?

GlucaGen HypoKit is an injection kit that contains glucagon, a hormone that raises blood glucose. Glucagon is injected when someone has very low blood sugar (severe hypoglycaemia). When this happens, they usually cannot swallow, respond when you speak to them or squeeze your hand when asked. Sometimes they will collapse or have a seizure. Read more about hypoglycaemia (also called hypos). 

Tell and train your support people – they may be the ones who need to assist you. 
If you have diabetes and have frequent or sudden “hypos”, your doctor may prescribe a glucagon injection kit. It is important that you tell your friends, relatives and close workmates about GlucaGen® HypoKit. It is good if they are trained to recognise signs of hypoglycaemia and how to prepare and inject glucagon.

What to do if someone has very low blood sugar

  • Roll the person onto their side. Make sure they are breathing easily.
  • Call for an ambulance (phone 111 in New Zealand).
  • Do not leave the person alone.
  • Do not try to feed the person anything through their mouth if they are unconscious (not responding to you) or having seizures.
  • Inject the glucagon into the muscle in their outer thigh. It takes around 10–15 minutes for the glucagon to work. If the person is still not responding, give them another injection.

How to use a GlucaGen HypoKit

GlucaGen Hypokit comes as a dry powder in a small bottle or vial. Before you use GlucaGen, you must mix the dry powder with the syringe of sterile water that comes in the GlucaGen HypoKit. This must be done immediately before use – do not store the mixed solution for later use.   

Image credit: How to use the GlucaGen HypoKit Waitematā DHB

There are instructions on the inside cover of the GlucaGen Hypokit. Follow these instructions. The following is a guide.   

How to inject GlucaGen HypoKit  
  • Remove the orange cap from the vial​.
 
  • Pull the needle cover off the syringe.
  • Insert the needle through the rubber stopper of the vial containing GlucaGen.
  • Inject all the liquid from the syringe into the vial.
 
  • Without taking the needle out of the vial, gently shake the vial until the GlucaGen powder has completely dissolved and the solution is clear.
  • Turn the vial upside down and pull back the plunger of the syringe until all of the solution is in the syringe.
  • Be careful not to pull the plunger out of the end of the syringe.
  • Inject the solution under the skin into a muscle (thigh, bottom or upper outer arm – see diagram).
  • You may need help from someone else to hold the person while giving the injection if they are agitated or having a fit (seizure).

Image credit: How to use the GlucaGen HypoKitWaitematā DHB

Other handy tips

  • Do not use any other liquid to mix the medicine.
  • After use, put the syringe back into its box to be thrown away – don't put the needle cap back on.
  • Serious side effects from glucagon are rare. Nausea and vomiting can occur after the injection.

After giving a GlucaGen HypoKit injection

Once the person is awake you must give them something to eat and drink. Give them sip of ordinary (non-diet) soft drink or another sweet drink. Follow this with something to eat, such as 2 slices of bread, a large glass of milk, a muesli bar or a large banana.

Continue as usual with regular meals, with the normal dose of insulin. Do not take extra insulin to try to correct for high blood glucose readings for the next 24 hours. 

Tell your family doctor or diabetes nurse if you have used your GlucaGen® HypoKit.

Learn more

Hypoglycaemia Diabetes NZ
How to use GlucaGen HypoKit Waitematā DHB

References

  1. Glucagon hydrochloride New Zealand Formulary
  2. GlucaGen HypoKit Medsafe Consumer Medicine Information, NZ
Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland Last reviewed: 24 Apr 2020