Diabetes: how to manage patients experiencing hypoglycaemia

Drugs Context. 2022 Jun 14:11:2021-9-11. doi: 10.7573/dic.2021-9-11. eCollection 2022.


Hypoglycaemia is a complication associated with the management of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Despite newer technologies to help minimize the risk of hypoglycaemia, it remains a barrier for some patients to achieve optimal glycaemic control. In this review, the definitions and risk factors for hypoglycaemia will be briefly discussed and an in-depth review of the management for a conscious or unconscious patient in the outpatient and inpatient settings is provided. Rapid-acting glucose is the preferred treatment for a conscious patient regardless of the setting. For an unconscious patient, glucagon is preferred if the patient does not have intravenous (IV) access and dextrose can be used for patients with IV access. Until recently, there was only one formulation of glucagon, which had limitations due to the multiple steps required for reconstitution prior to administration in an emergency setting. This review also discusses the different glucagon formulations currently available for the management of hypoglycaemia.

Keywords: diabetes mellitus; glucagon; glucose; hypoglycaemia; management; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review