Eli Lilly Announces Recall of Single Batch of Glucagon Kits

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Eli Lilly Announces Recall of Single Batch of Glucagon Kits

The drug manufacturer Eli Lilly is voluntarily recalling a single lot of glucagon kits based on one report of an ineffective kit, according to an announcement from the company.

The company’s Glucagon Emergency Kit for Low Blood Sugar contains 1 milligram (mg) of glucagon in powder form, along with a liquid (diluent) to mix with the powder and a syringe to inject the solution. It comes in this form — a powder and liquid that must be mixed together — to extend the shelf life of the product, since it’s meant to be kept on hand in case of a dangerous drop in blood glucose and isn’t intended for regular use. Glucagon triggers the release of glucose from the liver, and an emergency injection can reverse the effects of severe hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). It’s still important, though, to follow up with emergency medical attention after using a glucagon kit for this purpose.

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The latest recall comes after Lilly received a report that the vial of glucagon in the owner’s kit was in liquid, rather than powder, form. “The use of the liquid form of this product may fail to treat severe low blood sugar due to loss of potency,” the company stated in its recall announcement. Its investigation indicated that the liquid form of the product in the recalled lot may be due to problems in the manufacturing process. The person who made the report indicated that when using the glucagon kit with the liquid form of glucagon, the product did not work as intended — blood glucose didn’t go up, and the person experienced seizures afterward due to severe hypoglycemia.

The affected product lot is D239382D, and the expiration date is April 2022 (labeled as “04 2022”). The lot number can be found on both the label of the kit and the vial inside. This lot of the product was distributed nationwide to wholesalers and retailers, so it’s worth checking to see if your glucagon kit matches this description regardless of where you got it.

“Lilly is notifying its distributors and customers by written communication and is arranging for return and replacement of all recalled products,” the company stated. “Lilly is deeply committed to manufacturing high-quality medicines for patients who need them, and the safety and quality of our products is our highest priority. We take our obligations seriously and have rigorous quality systems in place to ensure compliance with stringent regulatory requirements.”

If you have a glucagon kit from the affected lot, contact the Lilly Answers Center at 1-800-LILLYRX (1-800-545-5979) for return and replacement instructions. This phone line’s hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time. You should also contact your health care provider for guidance about what to do in the meantime if you experience severe hypoglycemia. Lilly also recommends contacting your health care provider if you have experienced any problems that may be related to using an ineffective glucagon kit — such as failing to see your blood glucose go up after using it, or passing out or experiencing seizures after using the product.

Want to learn more about glucagon? Read “Glucagon,” “Using a Glucagon Kit,” and “Severe Hypoglycemia and Glucagon.” 

Quinn Phillips

Quinn Phillips

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A freelance health writer and editor based in Wisconsin, Phillips has a degree from Harvard University. He is a former Editorial Assistant for Diabetes Self-Management and has years of experience covering diabetes and related health conditions. Phillips writes on a variety of topics, but is especially interested in the intersection of health and public policy.

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