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 quickly increase blood sugar levels in diabetics with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) who cannot take a quick source of sugar (e.g., fruit juices, table sugar, regular soda) by mouth.
This medicine comes with a Patient Information Leaflet. Read it carefully. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist any questions that you may have about this medicine.
Keep this product near you at all times. Talk with your doctor about when you should use this product. This medication is given by injection. Learn in advance how to properly inject this medication so you will be prepared when you actually need to use it. Also teach a family member or caregiver what to do if you cannot inject the medication yourself.
Friends and relatives of a diabetic patient should know the symptoms of low blood sugar (see also Precautions section) and be instructed on how to give glucagon if necessary. The patient should be treated as soon as possible during an episode of low blood sugar in order to prevent serious effects (e.g., brain damage).
Prepare the medication as directed. Before using, check the product visually for particles, cloudiness, gel-like thickening, or discoloration. If any of these are present, do not use the liquid. After preparation, use the medication immediately. Discard any unused liquid.
Inject this medication into a vein, into a muscle, or under the skin as directed by your doctor.
If the patient is unconscious, turn the patient on their side to avoid choking in case they vomit, and inject the glucagon. Seek immediate medical treatment. If the patient does not wake up in 15 minutes, the dose may be repeated.
When the patient wakes up and is able to swallow, a quick sugar source (e.g., glucose tablets, juice) should be given. Glucagon is only effective for a short time, and low blood sugar may return. The blood sugar level should be kept up by eating snacks such as crackers, cheese, meat sandwich, or milk. The blood sugar should be checked regularly as directed by the doctor.
Nausea, vomiting, and fast heartbeat may occur. If these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor 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 immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: fast/pounding heartbeat.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
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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, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: certain adrenal problem (pheochromocytoma), tumor of the pancreas (insulinoma).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: adrenal gland problem (e.g., Addison's disease), frequent alcohol use, heart disease (coronary artery disease), not eating/poor eating habits, frequent low blood sugar.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is more likely if you drink large amounts of alcohol, do unusually heavy exercise, or do not consume enough calories from food. Symptoms include cold sweat, blurred vision, confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, shaking, fast heartbeat, headache, fainting, seizures, tingling of the hands/feet, and hunger. 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 about the reaction immediately. 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.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: beta blockers (e.g., metoprolol, propranolol), "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin).
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. 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 medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood sugar levels) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines 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 for more details about how to safely discard your product.
MEDICAL ALERT: 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 March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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