Efficacy and safety of mini-dose glucagon for treatment of nonsevere hypoglycemia in adults with type 1 diabetes

T1D Exchange Mini-dose Glucagon Study Group

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35 Scopus citations


Context: Standard treatment of hypoglycemia is oral carbohydrate, but it often results in hyperglycemia and entails extra caloric intake. Objective: To evaluate low-dose glucagon to treat mild hypoglycemia in ambulatory adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Design: Randomized crossover trial (two 3-week periods). Setting: Five U.S. diabetes clinics. Patients: Twenty adults with T1D using an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and experiencing frequent mild hypoglycemia. Intervention: Nonaqueous mini-dose glucagon (MDG) (150 μg) to treat nonsevere hypoglycemia. Main Outcome Measures: Successful treatment was defined as blood glucose (BG) ≥50 mg/dL 15 minutes and ≥70mg/dL 30 minutes after intervention, on the studymeter. Two authors, blinded to treatment arm, independently judged each event as a clinical success or failure. Results: Sixteen participants (mean age 39 years, 75% female, mean diabetes duration 23 years, mean hemoglobin A1c 7.2%) had 118 analyzable events with initial BG of 50 to 69 mg/dL. Successful treatment criteria were met for 58 (94%) of 62 events during the MDG period and 53 (95%) of 56 events during the glucose tablets (TABS) period (adjusted P = 0.99). Clinical assessments of success for these events were 97% and 96%, respectively. CGM-measured time in range did not differ between treatment groups during the 2 hours after events, but TABS resulted in higher maximum glucose (116 vs 102 mg/dL; P = 0.01) over the first hour. Conclusions: Low-dose glucagon can successfully treat mild hypoglycemia and may be a useful alternative to treatment with oral carbohydrate when trying to avoid unnecessary caloric intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2994-3001
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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