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Related to glucagon: somatostatin, glucagon test


a polypeptide hormone secreted by the alpha cells of the islets of langerhans in response to hypoglycemia or to stimulation by growth hormone. It increases blood glucose concentration by stimulating glycogenolysis in the liver and can be administered parenterally to relieve severe hypoglycemia from any cause, especially hyperinsulinism. Because it slows motility of the gastrointestinal tract, it is also used as an aid in gastrointestinal radiography.
glucagon stimulation test a provocative test of growth hormone (GH) function in which the fasting serum level of GH is measured after administration of glucagon.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.



Pharmacologic class: Antihypoglycemic

Therapeutic class: Insulin antagonist

Pregnancy risk category B


Increases blood glucose concentration by converting glycogen in liver to glucose. Also relaxes GI smooth muscle.


Powder for injection: 1-mg vials

Indications and dosages

Severe hypoglycemia

Adults and children weighing more than 20 kg (44 lb): 1 mg subcutaneously, I.M., or I.V.

Children weighing 20 kg (44 lb) or less: 20 to 30 mcg/kg or 0.5-mg dose subcutaneously, I.M., or I.V.

Diagnostic aid for radiologic examination

Adults: 0.25 to 2 mg I.V. or 1 to 2 mg I.M. before radiologic procedure


• Hypersensitivity to drug

• Pheochromocytoma


Use cautiously in:

• cardiac disease, adrenal insufficiency, chronic hypoglycemia

• history suggesting insulinoma or pheochromocytoma

• elderly patients

• pregnant or breastfeeding patients.


Use only in hypoglycemic emergencies for patients with diabetes mellitus.

• Mix drug in 1-mg vial with 1 ml of diluent supplied by manufacturer.

• For I.V. injection, give 1 mg over 1 minute.

• Use drug immediately after preparing; discard unused portion.

Patient should respond within 15 minutes. Because of potential serious adverse reactions linked to prolonged cerebral hypoglycemia, give I.V. glucose if patient fails to respond to glucagon.

• Give patient carbohydrate-rich foods as soon as he's alert.

• Dilute diagnostic aid doses above 2 mg with sterile water for injection.

Adverse reactions

CV: hypotension

GI: nausea, vomiting

Metabolic: hypokalemia (with overdose)

Respiratory: bronchospasm, respiratory distress

Skin: urticaria, rash


Drug-drug. Anticoagulants: enhanced anticoagulant effect

Drug-diagnostic tests. Potassium: decreased level

Patient monitoring

• Monitor blood glucose level.

• Monitor patient for aspiration.

• Assess blood pressure, electrolyte levels, and respiratory status.

Patient teaching

• Teach patient and family members the proper technique and timing for using this emergency drug.

Emphasize importance of contacting prescriber right away if hypoglycemic emergency occurs.

Tell caregiver or family member to arouse patient immediately and give additional carbohydrate by mouth as soon as patient can tolerate it.

• As appropriate, review all other significant and life-threatening adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs and tests mentioned above.

McGraw-Hill Nurse's Drug Handbook, 7th Ed. Copyright © 2013 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


(glū'kă-gon), [MIM*138030]
A hormone consisting of a straight-chain polypeptide of 29 amino acyl residues, extracted from pancreatic alpha cells. Parenteral administration of 0.5-1 mg results in prompt mobilization of hepatic glycogen, thus elevating blood glucose concentration. It activates hepatic phosphorylase, thereby increasing glycogenolysis, decreases gastric motility and gastric and pancreatic secretions, and increases urinary excretion of nitrogen and potassium; it has no effect on muscle phosphorylase. As the hydrochloride, it is used in the treatment of type I glycogenosis (von Gierke disease) and hypoglycemia, particularly hypoglycemic coma due to exogenously administered insulin.
[glucose + G. agō, to lead]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


A hormone produced by the pancreas that stimulates an increase in blood sugar levels, thus opposing the action of insulin.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Endocrinology A 29-residue polypeptide hormone, produced by pancreatic islet α cells that opposes insulin, activates hepatic phosphorylase, ↓ gastric motility, secretion and muscle mass, promotes glycogenolysis, ↑ serum glucose, ↑ ketogenesis and liver incorporation of amino acids and urinary excretion of Na+ and K+ ↑ in Neonates, glucagonoma, DM ↓ in Some Pts with DM, hypoglyecemia
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A hormone produced by pancreatic alpha cells. Parenteral administration of 0.5-1 mg results in prompt mobilization of hepatic glycogen, thus elevating blood glucose concentration. It is used in the treatment of glycogen storage disease (von Gierke) and hypoglycemia, particularly hypoglycemic coma due to exogenously administered insulin.
[glucose + G. agō, to lead]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


One of the four hormones produced by the Islet cells of the PANCREAS, the others being insulin, somatostatin and a polypeptide of unknown function. The action of glucagon opposes that of insulin. It causes liver glycogen, a polysaccharide, to break down to glucose, thereby increasing the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. It can also mobilize fatty acids for energy purposes. Glucagon is a 20-amino acid peptide secreted by the alpha Islet cells. A brand name is Glucagen.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005


a polypeptide of 29 amino acids produced by the alpha cells in the ISLETS OF LANGERHANS of the pancreas of vertebrates. Glucagon acts as a hormone, having the opposite effect to INSULIN, in causing the breakdown of liver GLYCOGEN and the release of glucose into the blood.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005


A hormone produced in the pancreas that raises the level of glucose in the blood. An injectable form of glucagon, which can be bought in a drug store, is sometimes used to treat insulin shock.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(glū'kă-gon) [MIM*138030]
A hormone consisting of a straight-chain polypeptide; activates hepatic phosphorylase, thereby increasing glycogenolysis, decreases gastric motility and gastric and pancreatic secretions.
[glucose + G. agō, to lead]
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
BAQSIMI demonstrated noninferiority to glucagon for injection in both studies in raising blood glucose after insulin-induced hypoglycemia, with 100% of patients treated with BAQSIMI and 100% of glucagon for injection-treated patients achieving treatment success in Study 1, and 98.8% and 100%, respectively, in Study 2.
People with known allergies to glucagon shouldn't take Baqsimi, nor should people who've been fasting for a long period, or those with chronic forms of hypoglycemia.
A glucagon secreting alpha-cell carcinoma of the pancreas.
The nasal formulation consists of a dry power containing 3 mg glucagon that is provided in a single-use, compact, and thus, portable, device.
Incretins reduce pancreatic beta cell workload by decreasing the rate of absorption of nutrients, increasing satiety, inhibiting glucagon secretion, stimulating beta cell proliferation (and thus insulin secretion) and reducing insulin resistance.
Bicarbonate-free Hank's solution, [Ca.sup.+]-free Dulbecco PBS, insulin, glucagon, and 17[beta]-estradiol were purchased from Sigma.
Glucagon for hypoglycemic episodes in insulin-treated diabetic patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis with a comparison of glucagon with dextrose and of different glucagon formulations.
The correlations of fasting plasma glucagon with anthropometry, measures of body composition on DEXA, abdominal adipose tissue compartments, pancreatic volume, liver span, and biochemical variables on MRI were assessed using Pearson's correlation.
In a recently published study in Nature, it is demonstrated that SGLT2 is expressed in glucagon- secreting alpha cells of the pancreatic islets.14 The investigators further found that expression of SLC5A2 (which encodes SGLT2) was lower and glucagon (GCG) gene expression was higher in islets from type 2 diabetic individuals and in normal islets exposed to chronic hyperglycemia than in islets from non-diabetics.
Glucagon, a catabolic hormone produced by the pancreatic islet A cells, is considered the dominant glucose regulator in birds, with levels typically ranging from 1000 to 4000 [micro]g/mL [1000-4000 ng/ L].
Our bihormonal bionic pancreas delivers both insulin and glucagon under the control of autonomously adaptive algorithms that require no information about the patient other than body weight to start, and can quickly adapt to changing insulin needs (3).