A specific overdose of insulin cannot be defined, however, hypoglycaemia may develop over sequential stages if too high doses relative to the patient's requirement are administered: Mild hypoglycaemic episodes can be treated by oral administration of glucose or sugary products. It is therefore recommended that the diabetic patient always carries sugar containing products.
Severe hypoglycaemic episodes, where the patient has become unconscious, can be treated with glucagon (0.5 to 1 mg) given intramuscularly or subcutaneously by a trained person, or with glucose given intravenously by a healthcare professional. Glucose must be given intravenously, if the patient does not respond to glucagon within 10 to 15 minutes.
Upon regaining consciousness, administration of an oral carbohydrate is recommended for the patient in order to prevent a relapse.