What is the most important information I should know about glucagon?
Glucagon should be used to treat hypoglycemia only if the person cannot eat, passes out, or is having a seizure. Be sure you know how to give glucagon nasal before you need to use it. Hypoglycemia should be treated as quickly as possible. Having low blood sugar for too long can cause seizure, coma, or death.
You should not use this medicine if you have a tumor of the pancreas (insulinoma) or adrenal gland (pheochromocytoma).
What is glucagon?
Glucagon is a hormone that increases blood sugar levels. It also slows involuntary muscle movements of the stomach and intestines that aid in digestion.
Glucagon nasal (for use in the nose) is used to treat severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in adult and children at least 4 years old.
Glucagon may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using glucagon?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to glucagon, or if you have:
- a tumor of the pancreas (insulinoma); or
- a tumor of the adrenal gland (pheochromocytoma).
Glucagon should be used to treat hypoglycemia only if the person is unable to eat, or is unconscious or having a seizure.
Tell your doctor if:
- you have any tumor of the pancreas;
- you have not recently eaten on a regular basis; or
- you have chronic low blood sugar.
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.
Glucagon is not expected to harm an unborn baby, but quickly treating hypoglycemia would outweigh any risks posed by using glucagon.
It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
In an emergency situation it may not be possible to tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you have received this medicine.
How should I use glucagon?
Hypoglycemia should be treated as quickly as possible. Having low blood sugar for too long can cause seizure, coma, or death.
Glucagon nasal is a powder medicine that is inserted into the nose but does not need to be inhaled. You will be shown how to use this medicine for severe hypoglycemia. Call your doctor after each time you use glucagon nasal.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand all instructions.
Be sure you know how to give glucagon nasal before you need to use it. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
If you are a caregiver, get emergency medical help after giving glucagon nasal. If the patient does not improve within 15 minutes, you may need to give a second dose.
Blood sugar levels can be affected by stress, illness, surgery, exercise, alcohol use, or skipping meals. Ask your doctor before changing your dose or medication schedule.
To keep from having severe hypoglycemia, follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
After using glucagon nasal, you should eat a fast-acting source of sugar (fruit juice, glucose gel, hard candy, raisins, or non-diet soda) and then eat a snack or small meal such as crackers with cheese or peanut butter.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the medicine in the original packaging until you are ready to use it. Replace the medicine if the expiration date on the label has passed.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since glucagon is used as needed, it does not have a daily dosing schedule.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, constipation, rapid pulse, or increased blood pressure.
What should I avoid while using glucagon?
Do not take by mouth. Nasal medicine is for use only in the nose.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It can lower your blood sugar.
What are the possible side effects of glucagon?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; feeling light-headed; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of high blood pressure, such as severe headache, blurred vision, and pounding in your neck or ears.
Common side effects may include:
- discomfort in your nose, runny or stuffy nose;
- nausea, vomiting;
- red or watery eyes;
- itchy eyes, nose, or throat;
- cough; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect glucagon?
Many other medicines can affect your blood sugar, and some medicines can increase or decrease the effects of medicines used to treat diabetes. Some drugs can also cause you to have fewer symptoms of hypoglycemia, making it harder to tell when your blood sugar is low. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all medicines you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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