A potential role for glucagon in the treatment of drug-induced symptomatic bradycardia

Jeffrey N. Love, Deepak K. Sachdeva, Edward S. Bessman, Liesl A. Curtis, John M. Howell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Nine cases of symptomatic bradycardia are presented in which treatment with intravenous glucagon was administered when atropine failed to improve the patient's condition significantly. Although the cause often was not obvious at presentation, all nine subjects took oral medications that could have contributed to the development of symptomatic bradycardia. Eight of nine patients demonstrated clinical improvement 5 to 10 min after glucagon administration, which was consistent with its peak clinical action. Beta- blockers, calcium channel blockers, and digoxin were ultimately thought to have contributed to the majority of these presentations. This report suggests that glucagon may have a role in the treatment of symptomatic bradycardia, particularly in the presence of beta-adrenergic blockade and perhaps calcium channel blockade. Furthermore, the results in these cases suggest that future clinical trials should not be limited to drug-induced symptomatic bradycardia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-326
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Beta-adrenergic blockers
  • Bradycardia
  • Glucagon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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