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Use of glucagon to treat hypoglycaemia

What is glucagon?

Glucagon is a hormone that promotes the breakdown of glycogen to glucose, making it useful in raising blood glucose levels during a hypoglycaemic episode.

Types of glucagon

Mechanism of glucagon action, from La Sala & Pontiroli. 2021.2

Glucagon formulations undergoing clinical trials

Biochaperone glucagon3

  • Recombinant human glucagon
  • Prevents glucagon from degrading by adding compounds that form stable complexes with glucagon

Glucagon limitations

While useful, there are significant limitations to glucagon formulations. Glucagon formulations expire and are complicated to reconstitute. However, they are still used in many countries that don’t have access to nasal or pre-filled stable products.


  1. Sherman JJ, Lariccia JL. Glucagon Therapy: A Comparison of Current and Novel TreatmentsDiabetes Spectr. 2020;33:347–351.
  2. La Sala L & Pontiroli AE. New Fast Acting Glucagon for Recovery from Hypoglycemia, a Life-Threatening Situation: Nasal Powder and Injected Stable Solutions. 2021;22:10643.
  3. Beato-Vibora PI & Arroyo-Diez FJ. New uses and formulations of glucagon for hypoglycaemia. Drugs Context. 2019;8:212599.