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Clinical Pharmacology of Glucagon.

Glucagon was discovered about a hundred years ago and its role in health and disease is under continuous investigation. Glucagon is a counter regulatory hormone secreted by alpha cells of the pancreas in response to multiple stimuli. Although some of glucagon's actions and its clinical application have been described, clinical experience with glucagon has been historically overshadowed by that of insulin. To date, the role of glucagon's actions in pharmacotherapy has been under explored. Glucagon plays a considerable role as a hormonal regulator via its known actions on the liver. The rise in obesity and diabetes mellitus prevalence is bringing focus to glucagon's known physiological roles and possible clinical applications. Six glucagon products and a glucagon analog are approved for use in the United States. Clinical pharmacology studies provide crucial support of glucagon's actions as evident from comprehensive pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics evaluations in humans. Here, we briefly describe the established physiological role of glucagon in humans and its known relationship with disease. We later summarize the clinical pharmacology of available glucagon products with different routes of administration.

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