Glucagon app: a great app!

This great app by Lilly gives you step-by-step instructions on using Glucagon to treat severe low blood sugar:

I am leery of downloading any new app on my phone – I already have more than I can use. But this one is worthwhile to me. I am concerned that I may forget an important step when having to dispense glucagon in case of a severe low, with my kid being unconscious or worse. This app takes you screen by screen through the administration of a whole dose.

Since the administration MO appears to be the same between the Lilly and Novo Nordisk glucagon kis (Glucagon and Glucagen), I figure it would also work fairly well for Glucagen.

I am suggesting to anyone who may be needing to administer it to my son to download it on their phone. Better peace of mind for me :slight_smile:


I think it is very important for everyone to be able to handle this emergency quickly and calmly. And I also think it is important that everyone do whatever they need to do in order to be prepared.

But I want to offer a counter opinion on this.

If you have to find your phone, unlock it, find the app, and read it, you are wasting time that you don’t need to. You can see in the picture Michel posted above, the Glucagon kit has directions printed right inside the container. Those directions are always right there.

I am not sure how a phone app makes it any more clear.

The older Glucagon kit had more steps. You had to get a syringe, put air in it and inject air into the solution so there would be no vacuum when removing the solution, and then remove the solution and inject into the vial with the powder.

The new ones are more simple. And you can even simplify it further, you don’t have to remove the syringe when you are swirling the bottle around to mix it. That saves a step.

I want to point out that dosing is not crucial. There is nothing magical about 100 units. If you do 50, 72, 96, or whatever, it will start to work.

Small air bubbles are not important, they won’t cause any problem. Just inject what you get out. You can always go back in and get the remainder and inject a second time.

It works very quickly.

The time to learn how to do it is now. Not when you need it.

Let me suggest that you don’t ever throw an old Glucagon kit away. You don’t have to do something goofball and actually use a kit that expired 3 years ago. But what you can do is take your expired kit and practice with it.

Get an orange or tomato or eggplant, and go through the whole procedure and do a practice injection on the unlucky item from the produce aisle.

Be comfortable enough with it that you don’t need a phone app.


That’s the difference between Lilly’s and Novo’s instructions. Lilly tells you to remove the syringe before swirling the vial, whereas Novo urges you not to remove the syringe.

Step 5. Hold the entire unit (the vial and syringe) in one hand and gently shake the vial until the powder is completely dissolved. Do not use if a gel has formed, or if you see particles in the solution. Do not take the syringe out of the vial.


That makes more sense. It eliminates a step. Plus, you don’t want nervous shaky hands trying to put a syringe into a vial twice!

The Novo pictures are better too!

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Who can disagree with you there? It is best for all of us to remember every step clearly and be wholly conversant with the procedure.

However, you never know how you will react when the time comes – and there is no way to guarantee 100% that you will actually do the right steps when you do it, unless you have practiced many times. I was a Navy officer for a while: I can give you countless examples of cases where professionals, well trained for years in fundamental procedures, screw them up when under pressure, when they really need to get them right – when their own life is at stake.

So I feel that it would be short-sighted not to give yourself this resource if you might need it when it is critical.

But I see two other very good reasons for downloading the app:

  • the pictures in the kit are readable (but may not be enough) – however, the user’s manual in the kit is printed small enough that, unless the light is PERFECT, someone like me may not be able to read it if needed
  • I am 100% certain that nobody in charge of my son, even at school (unless the nurse is present), is well-enough trained in Glucagon administration that they would be able to administer it in the right manner for sure.

In the Army, we spend 1/2 of the year just training, field exercises, clean this, do that…everyone complains…until the sh*t hits the fans, then everyone’s glad they “trained like they fight.”


I certainly agree that people like teachers or neighbors could benefit.

I want to add that if you have an old expired kit to practice on, you can practice many times. After the first practice, just empty the tablet vial and put 100ml of water in the solution vial and practice it again.