Glucagon for hypoglycaemia treatment in type 1 diabetes

1 Citation (Scopus)


To achieve strict glycaemic control and avoid chronic diabetes complications, individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are recommended to follow an intensive insulin regimen. However, the risk and fear of hypoglycaemia often prevent individuals from achieving the treatment goals. Apart from early insulin suspension in insulin pump users, carbohydrate ingestion is the only option for preventing and treating non-severe hypoglycaemic events. These rescue treatments may give extra calories and cause overweight. As an alternative, the use of low-dose glucagon to counter hypoglycaemia has been proposed as a tool to raise glucose concentrations without adding extra calories. Previously, the commercially available glucagon formulations required reconstitution from powder to a solution before being injected subcutaneously or intramuscularly-making it practical only for treating severe hypoglycaemia. Several companies have developed more stable formulations that do not require the time-consuming reconstitution process before use. As well as treating severe hypoglycaemia, non-severe and impending hypoglycaemia can also be treated with lower doses of glucagon. Once available, low-dose glucagon can be either delivered manually, as an injection, or automatically, by an infusion pump. This review focuses on the role and perspectives of using glucagon to treat and prevent hypoglycaemia in T1D.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3409
JournalDiabetes - Metabolism: Research and Reviews (Print Edition)
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)e3409
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • carbohydrate rescue
  • closed-loop
  • glucagon
  • glucose control
  • hypoglycaemia
  • type 1 diabetes


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