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January 21, 2003

Hypoglycemia, Other Medications

Question from Richland Hills, Texas, USA:

I just read the article on Mini Dose Glucagon Rescue, and, in my opinion, this is a wonderful idea for sick children and years overdue! However, using a small amount of this mixture will allow a substantial amount of medication remaining to treat low blood glucose levels while the child is ill. Once the glucagon is mixed, how long can it be stored safely to keep its effectiveness?

Answer:

We advise only keeping the mixed glucagon for 24 hours so it’s only useful during that day of an illness. I suspect nobody has really tested this out so it’s all anecdotal clinical information. Lilly and Novo Nordisk don’t have official approval for this indication, but the article by Haymond and Schreiner is an excellent one, short, concise and it works in their report — and we can testify that it works in clinical use in our practice as well.

The process of getting formal FDA approval for such indications is too expensive and laborious for either company to likely bother.

SB