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 ≥70 mg/dL 30 minutes after intervention, on the study meter. 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.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02411578.
Copyright © 2017 Endocrine Society