Preventing Hypoglycemia, Hyperglycemia with Insulin and Glucagon Coadministration


Bruce Bode, MD, discusses the results of a proof-of-concept study examining insulin and glucagon coadministration to prevent hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia in type 1 diabetics.

Attempting to prevent hypoglycemia without worsening hyperglycemia in those with type 1 diabetes has been a challenge for clinicians for decades, but results of a new study from the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) 80th Scientific Sessions signal there could be a change on the horizon.

Results of the 11-person proof-of-concept trial indicate insulin and glucagon may be coadministered, under certain conditions, to prevent insulin-induced hypoglycemia without negatively impacting hyperglycemic control in type 1 diabetics.

“This is a very, very important study in that nobody has ever done this before,” said Bruce Bode, MD, diabetes specialist with Atlanta Diabetes Associates, in an interview with HCPLive®. “You can potentially give insulin and glucagon in the same infusion with a certain ratio and you can totally prevent hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.”

In an effort to assess the feasibility of coadministration of insulin and glucagon in type 1 diabetics. To do so, they designed a trial rearing patients to undergo 2 visits and receive insulin alone or insulin plus glucagon in a randomized order. Patients included in the study received a mixed meal challenge and were observed for the following 6 hours.

During the study, 7 patients experienced an excessive lowering in plasma glucose. However, results indicated coadministration of insulin and glucagon protected against hypoglycemia in all 7 instances.

To gain further insight into the results and background of this research, HCPLive reached out to Bode to take part in a special edition ADA 2020 House Call.

This study, titled “Insulin and Glucagon Coadministration in Type 1 Diabetes Prevents Hypoglycemia without Worsening Hyperglycemia,” was presented at ADA 2020. 

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