Glucagon Saved Our Butts: Dr E. & Dr. P. Share Their Personal Scares

Everyone with diabetes on insulin therapy – or a medication that can cause low blood sugar – should have glucagon on hand. Dr. E. and Dr. P. share their personal experiences of when they each needed to break into their emergency glucagon kits, and they discuss the latest glucagon options that are much easier to use – Gvoke and BAQSIMI.

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    Hey Doctors E & P,
    A most excellent presentation. I know a lot of T1Ds that don’t think they will ever need glugagon….until the first time. Alas. I have always been a believer and have used it once in the far past. Keep up the enlightened videos on how to stay smart and ready. All the best, Smiling Retired T1D Jack Griswold

    • Thanks Jack and yes you are so right – better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it! Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  2. Thank you for that extremely helpful video !

    Question: when you dosed yourself with the Baqsimi or gvoke, did it cause you to feel nauseated?

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      Used Baqsimi for mine.. Saw a change from 44 to 95 quickly. I felt woozy and my nostril felt like it was on fire, but certainly did not feel nauseated.

    • Daniella, I did not feel nauseated but my face felt flushed. It went away pretty quickly.

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    Excellent presentation. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  4. Awesome report on new products, I will text my Endo right away to try this. Never had that bad of a low yet, but one never knows, does one?

    • That’s right, Laurel. Better to have it and never need it than to need it and not have it!

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    Great information explaining new products. I kept Glucagon at home when my husband was alive. I no longer keep it on hand. I wear a Tandem pump and G6. However, when the iPhone iOS updates the share feature no longer works and my children don’t receive alarms. This is what I have been counting on but it is no longer reliable. I’m not sure that I could manage giving myself Glucagon during a severe episode, even though it is quite simple. I have never been in a situation that I required Glucagon. I am in excellent control and have been most of my 45 years with diabetes. I am a retired APRN, CDE and am certainly qualified to do any of the forms of Glucagon. Would you recommend that someone in my situation keep Glucagon on hand?

    • Patricia, Absolutely! The two formulations are super easy to give. I would call Dexcom to figure out why your data is not sharing. I am sure there is a fix to that.

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    Your point about Glucagon panic for significant others is well taken. I was thrashing around in bed one night which woke my husband. He couldn’t get a response from me and checked my BG (18). Forgetting about the Glucagon, he started force feeding me juice boxes. When I regained consciousness, my (dumb as a rock) dog was very attentive to me. As hubby was telling me of the ordeal, I put two and two together and suddenly realized Elvis could be my service dog. Hubby laughed hysterically and pointed out that Elvis was only interested in the juice all over my neck. Thanks for all you do. You’re much appreciated!

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    Thank you for this. I’m a type 2 and doing okay. My worst A1c was 8.6 and now I’m 7.3. I’ve had several lows during the night. I wake up and can’t get back to sleep so I finally realize to check my BG and sure enough it’s 45. I’m glad my body wakes me and wish my brain would wake up sooner. My big problem is that food does not interest me at that time. I have to force myself to eat/drink something. Glucagon sounds like something I need.

    • Sue…For sure you should get glucagon at home. You should get a CGM also, and talk to your doctor about insulin adjustments.

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    Last year I hiked Yosemite to the cables. I took glucagon with me. I pulled it out the night before we were to hike and showed one of the hikers how to use it. It took me almost 20 mins to explain what to do, and all I thought was that this guy won’t remember anything I said.
    I’m so happy to hear of the upgraded glucagon.
    I did not need any medical help on that trip, with glucose between 100-120 all the way up! Thank God I have never needed glucagon/help with lows in my 39 years.

    Thanks for all the information and keeping it ‘fun.’

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    Bravo. Content excellent . I quit getting glucagon because they expired unused and had to throw them away. Better options now with longer shelf life is welcome. And wise since I live alone now. Good reminders and wisdom. Thank you 🙂

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    I learned about this just recently in your virtual seminar which by the way was EXCELLENT.
    Will be asking my endocrinologist for a prescription this Friday when I have an appointment with him!
    TCOYD is the best!!
    Thankful for all the great info over the years!

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    Thanks for this info! I did not even know these products existed. I will be calling my Endo today to get a script for Baqsimi. I checked my glucagon after watching and, yes, it was outdated by six months. I never even thought to check the date. My husband is great in stressful, emergent situations, but I think he would even have a tough time figuring out my current glucagon contraption in a timely manner! You two are so entertaining. Joe and I always get a good laugh from your videos. We truly are grateful for both of you helping to make living w diabetes a bit easier:)

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    Really enjoyed your informative message. Been a type 1 53 years only needed the glucagon once and my husband was not able to give the shot. So he called 911. Also my sister with type 1 had many lows and her family would call me for instructions on how to give it in these blackout times. Often didn’t go well. I have asked my dr for a script. But it’s not covered under Medicare. And info on when it might be covered. Thanks again

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    I called my pharmacy to find out what my cost would be thru my insurance. I have really good insurance, but I was informed my insurance will not cover the Gvoke or the Baqsimi. The cost out of pocket would be over $700 for either one. So much for being excited about these two products. I guess I will have to refill the regular Glucagon and hope my husband can figure out how to use it if the need ever arises!!

    • Hi Margie,

      Here are a couple of things you can try to see if there is a more affordable option:

      For Gvoke savings and support, click here or call 1-877-myGvoke (1-877-694-8653)

      You can also try Lilly’s customer service line to see if they have any savings options for BAQSIMI: 1-(800) 545-5979\

      Hope one of them will be able to help!

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    Thanks for this informative, timely vid… I had a hypo event the night before this vid posted. I ate 150g of quick-acting carb only to see my BG keep dropping. When it hit 60 I had to decide between glucagon a Baqsmi. The only info I could find online regarding their efficacy indicated that glucagon would raise my BG 50-100 units within 30 minutes, and Baqsmi, though easier to use, would raise it 20 units, but no indication how fast. So I shot myself with glucagon, which did the trick.

    Even though I knew how to use it, when I checked the instructions which seemed unnecessarily confusing. But I figured it out despite my hypo-addled brain… pretty simple,actually, but BAD JOB LILLY for unclear communications for an inherently fraught situation.

    Where can I find the carb equivalencies of the various glucagon alternatives? Would be most helpful to know.

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    Excellent video – as always.

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    What about keeping a stash of dextrose available? My son’s BG level started sinking, down to 40, and he took 1/3 of a packet of ELOVATE* (about 1 level tablespoon) and then it was a problem to get his BG level back down after it shot up to over 270.

    Dextrose is cheaper and doesnt require a Rx and stores for a long time. Jeromy could have given it to himself instead of eating everything in the refrigerator, and it works fast, too.

    * NOTE: ELOVATE is the brand name for packages, about 15 grams each, of pure dextrose. I don’t know why they use 15 gram packages as I doubt any more than a 1/3 of a package is probably too much for most situations. But one can also get food grade dextrose packaged as brewer’s sugar at any microbrewery supply house.

    • Thanks for your thoughts. The most important use of Gvoke or Baqsimi is when you cannot swallow or think straight from a low. The in-between cases are really an individual choice. Take care.

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    Would love to be able to get Baqsimi or Gvoke but, Medicare does not cover them. The older glucagon kits work well but are difficult for an anxious care giver (wife) to
    Any idea when Medicare part D will approve them?

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      Hi Michael, both drugs are covered on several Medicare drug plans. They are brand name drugs which would normally be on tier 3 in most formularies. Some plans are showing tier 2. In general, if a health plan like United Healthcare covers them in their commercial plans, they should also be covered in their Medicare plans. Some plans only cover one of the new glucagon options. You also have to search for the cost of co-pays on each drug depending on what plan. To get detailed information on these drugs and which Medicare plans cover them, you can visit here:

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        Thank you. Gvoke, but not Baqsimi is now covered by Anthem Blue Cross in CT!
        Hope to never have to have it administered again. It’s been over 10 years.

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