Common Brand Name(s): Glucagen
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This medication is the same as your body's own glucagon, a natural substance that raises blood sugar by causing the body to release sugar stored in the liver. It is used to treat very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) that may cause you to need help from others. To be ready ahead of time, make sure a family member or caregiver knows where you keep this medication and how to use it.
Glucagon may also be used before certain X-ray procedures of the gut. It slows down movement of the stomach, intestines, and colon, which may help make the X-ray more clear.
How To Use
Read the Patient Information Leaflet and Instructions for Use provided by your pharmacist when you get this medication and each time you get a refill. Keep this medication handy in case it is needed. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Caregivers should know the symptoms of low blood sugar (see also Precautions section) and be instructed on how to give glucagon if needed. An episode of very low blood sugar should be treated right away to prevent serious effects (such as brain damage).
Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
Inject this medication into a muscle or under the skin as directed by the doctor. The dosage is based on your age. Children's dosage is also based on their weight. After giving this medication, get medical help right away.
If the person is unconscious, turn the person on their side to prevent choking in case they vomit. If the person does not wake up after 15 minutes, another dose may be given, if available.
When the person wakes up and is able to swallow, give them a quick sugar source (such as glucose tablets, juice). Glucagon only works for a short time, and low blood sugar may return. Keep the blood sugar level up by eating snacks such as crackers, cheese, a meat sandwich, or milk.
Always call your doctor right away when an episode of very low blood sugar has happened. You may need more medical treatment, or your insulin dose and diet may need to be adjusted.
Nausea, vomiting, or headache may occur. Irritation, redness, or swelling at the injection site may also occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
- fast/pounding heartbeat
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using glucagon, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as latex used in some products), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
- tumor of the pancreas (insulinoma)
- adrenal gland problems (such as Addison's disease, pheochromocytoma)
- not eating/poor eating habits
- frequent low blood sugar
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is more likely if you do not consume enough calories from food, or if you do unusually heavy exercise. Symptoms include sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet. It is a good habit to carry glucose tablets or gel to treat low blood sugar. If you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, rapidly raise your blood sugar by eating a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, or candy, or drink fruit juice or non-diet soda. Tell your doctor right away about the reaction and the use of this product. To help prevent low blood sugar, eat meals on a regular schedule, and do not skip meals. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out what you should do if you miss a meal.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk, but it is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this product with others.
Attend a diabetes education program to learn more about how to manage your diabetes with medications, diet, exercise, and regular medical exams.
Learn the symptoms of high and low blood sugar and how to treat low blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not refrigerate or freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised February 2020.
Copyright(c) 2020 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.