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Do you have/carry glucagon?

I recently qualified for a clinical trial on glucagon, and was trying to explain to a non-diabetes friend what glucagon is, how it's' used, and how there haven't been too many advancements around it.  So I ask you all the following questions -- no judgement, just curious. I'll answer as well.
1. Do you have glucagon at home?

1a. If so, do you know the expiration date?
2. Do you carry glucagon with you?

Info on glucagon from the American Diabetes Association:
posted Dec 8, 2016 in Conversation by phyllisk (4,500 points)
retagged Feb 17 by KarenG

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23 replies

My answers:
1.  I do have glucagon at home.

1a. It expired January of this year.

2. No, I don't carry it with me, ever.  Though I sometimes take it with me when I travel internationally but keep it in the hotel room
answered Dec 8, 2016 by phyllisk (4,500 points)
Great questions!!!

Yes, I have glucagon.  I know it isn't expired but I don't know off the top of my head what the expiration date is so I'm checking now . . . . . . . . okay, it expires March 2017.

My insurance sends me two glucagon kits each time I refill.  One we keep in my husband's top dresser drawer.  He also always packs it when we travel.  The second one I keep in my purse.  I'm not really sure how helpful that is - if I was out alone and needed glucagon I most likely wouldn't be able to administer it to myself.  And a stranger wouldn't know what it was or what to do.

In my 38 years with diabetes I've only needed glucagon once, a few years ago my husband injected it when I was dangerously low and unresponsive.  I'm really proud of him, because he is terrified of needles and I also know the whole situation must have been scary and stressful, but he did a great job!
answered Dec 8, 2016 by KarenG (16,340 points)
yeah, in my 42ish years with diabetes, I have only received it once, and it was when I was somewhat newly diagnosed around age 2 1/2 or 3.
answered Dec 9, 2016 by phyllisk (4,500 points)
+1 like
I have had glucagon in the past, but none currently.  I've been thinking that I need to get a new prescription from my doctor because you never know.  For the last couple of years, I've had a Dexcom CGM so that has really prevented the most extreme lows.
answered Dec 13, 2016 by jennhouchins (610 points)
Yes, I too use a CGM which helps prevent lows, and my insulin pump stops delivering insulin when the CGM reading gets to a certain low point, but maybe it's peace of mind to know I have a glucagon in the house for overnight.
Excellent question!

1. Yes, we keep glucagon in the house.

1a. I am not responsible for the kit - my husband knows about the kit, and keeps it with his things. He let's me know when I need a new prescription.

2. I don't carry glucagon with me (although I carry other rapid acting glucose sources). A few years ago, I attended an Emergency Session as a conference with my husband. The speaker was adamant that a partner is responsible for glucagon, because more than likely when it's needed, someone else would be administering it. Does that make sense?
answered Dec 13, 2016 by anna (2,890 points)
+1 like
I don't carry glucogen, but I do carry glucose tabs and smarties candy with me and educated my family on how to help me treat a low.
answered Dec 15, 2016 by anonymous
1. I do have glucagon at home.

1a. I know it is not expired yet. I believe it will expire in the summer of 2017, but am not positive, and can't check because ...

2. I do not carry glucagon with me. As someone else said, I keep other fast acting glucose on hand when I'm out and about (smarties, Transcend glucose "gel" packs).

My pharmacy app tells me when I last filled the glucagon script, so I renew it annually (which is usually right around the time it expires anyway). I have only ever needed it overnight when I went very low, so having it when I'm out didn't seem useful, as I wouldn't be able to administer it myself. My husband and I did talk about needing to show him how to use it again, as he hasn't tried in the 8 years we've been together.
answered Dec 20, 2016 by vholcomb (620 points)
+1 like
I do have one at home that I replace every year (to keep it from going past the expiration date). My husband and I get together with my T1D friend and her hubby and occasionally do a Glucagon review with the recently expired one to refresh their memories. I havent had to use Glucagon for decades thank god.
answered Dec 20, 2016 by ashabrown (1,160 points)
Yes I do carry it.  I found I had to make a larger meter bag so I could carry it and everything else so I would always have all my supplies with me at all times.  I know the expiration date only because I always look at it before I go take an overnight trip.  I also always buy a new one right before the end of the year so I know I have one for the next year that will be good.
answered Dec 20, 2016 by Pump1fun (1,770 points)
+1 like
Hi DSisters -

I just refilled a RX for glucagon after seeing my endocrine provider last week. I had two expired kits leftover from my last batch that was filled in 2014 and 2015 with the expiration date of 09/2016. My new batch of glucagon has an expiration a date of 04/2018. I keep it on hand even if I do not use it because I never know when I may need tit and I want to be prepared. I have also used a kit that was a year past expiration date when that was all that I had and it worked just fine.

I keep a supply at home and carry a kit with me in my purse, have one in my desk at work, and have a kit in my grab & go diabetes emergency/disaster bag. I always make sure I have a kit with me when I am on a trip away from home. In 54 years of living with T1D I have used glucagon about 6 times for a very, very LOW BG - like 26 mg/dl. During a period of my life when I was taking Symlin, I had to use it 3 times because I kept dropping so low.

I taught my husband how to use it In the very beginning of our relationship (16 years ago) if he ever finds me unresponsive but thank God that hasn't happened. Each time I had to use it, it was I who self-administered. As an adult, I have never lost consciousness from a low BG. As a child with diabetes I had several seizures and a few passing out episodes from severe lows (those were the days of NPH given twice a day and many years before BG self-testing and home use glucagon kits).

With the CGM it has been several years since I have had to use glucagon, but I still keep it around because you never know and it is a life saver when you need it.
answered Dec 21, 2016 by ConnieT1D (640 points)