African American Woman Tests Blood Sugar

Powdered Glucagon Approved for Emergency Use in Hypoglycemia

In announcing the July 24th approval of Baqsimi (glucagon powder for nasal administration) (here) FDA notes that it is the first form of glucagon that can be administered without injection.  The product is to be used by a caregiver or we assume someone on the street if the patient is unconscious.  The product is a prescription drug and it is notable that the patient does not have to inhale the powder for it to be effective.

The approved package insert (here) states that immediately after administration, the caregiver should call for emergency services.  If the patient regains consciousness, the instructions call for the administration of carbohydrates by mouth.  A second dose can be administered if the patient is not aroused by the first dose.

The directions for use explain that caregivers and people close to, or around the diabetic (i.e., coworkers, etc.) should be aware of and versed in the use of the product.  However, there is no mention or discussion of how, especially in this time of the current opioid epidemic, one unfamiliar with the patient can differentiate between a drug overdose and hypoglycemia.  This may be important as an unconscious diabetic could be confused as someone with a drug overdose.  Hopefully, those on the scene will notice a medical alert bracelet that will help them make the distinction.

This is an important advance in the treatment of hypoglycemia emergency treatment and should be a real life saver.