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Company recalls batch of drug that treats severely low blood sugar, cites possible health risk

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Eli Lilly Canada is recalling one lot of Glucagon following a complaint that a vial from the lot in question was found to be in liquid form instead of its usual powder form.  (Health Canada - image credit)
Eli Lilly Canada is recalling one lot of Glucagon following a complaint that a vial from the lot in question was found to be in liquid form instead of its usual powder form. (Health Canada - image credit)

Eli Lilly Canada is recalling one lot of an injectable prescription drug used to treat blood glucose levels that have dropped too low, which may occur in people with diabetes who are treated with insulin.

The company is recalling the lot following a complaint that a vial from this lot of Glucagon — D239382A, expiry date May 10, 2022 — was found to be in liquid form instead of powder form.

Glucagon normally comes in a powder form, accompanied by a diluting solution, and should be used immediately after mixing, a statement from Health Canada released Saturday said.

"Vials from the affected lot may not work as intended in treating patients with hypoglycemia [low blood sugar] resulting in persisting hypoglycemia. It could also cause other serious health consequences, such as unconsciousness and seizures," the statement said.

Health Canada has warned people not to use product from this lot, and if they have, they should call to 911 immediately if there are any medical issues, such as hypoglycemia or seizures.

Insulin helps to stop blood sugar levels from rising too high, while Glucagon is administered as an emergency treatment when the levels are too low, which can result in confusion, dizziness, seizures or unconsciousness.

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