Stable Liquid Glucagon: Beyond Emergency Hypoglycemia Rescue

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Glycemic control is the mainstay of preventing diabetes complications at the expense of increased risk of hypoglycemia. Severe hypoglycemia negatively impacts the quality of life of patients with type 1 diabetes and can lead to morbidity and mortality. Currently available glucagon emergency kits are effective at treating hypoglycemia when correctly used, however use is complicated especially by untrained persons. Better formulations and devices for glucagon treatment of hypoglycemia are needed, specifically stable liquid glucagon. Out of the scope of this review, other potential uses of stable liquid glucagon include congenital hyperinsulinism, post–bariatric surgery hypoglycemia, and insulinoma induced hypoglycemia. In the 35 years since Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the first liquid stable human recombinant insulin, we continue to wait for the glucagon counterpart. For mild hypoglycemia, a commercially available liquid stable glucagon would enable more widespread implementation of mini-dose glucagon use as well as glucagon in dual hormone closed-loop systems. This review focuses on the current and upcoming pharmaceutical uses of glucagon in the treatment of type 1 diabetes with an outlook on stable liquid glucagon preparations that will hopefully be available for use in patients in the near future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-853
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Diabetes Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • dual hormone artificial pancreas
  • glucagon
  • hypoglycemia
  • intranasal glucagon
  • mini-dose glucagon
  • type 1 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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