"Miriam E. Tucker
Medscape Medical News
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will now require a "for single patient use only" warning on all multidose pen devices used for injectable diabetes medications.
GlucaGen Patient Information including How Should I Take
In this Article
- What is glucagon (GlucaGen)?
- What are the possible side effects of glucagon (GlucaGen)?
- What is the most important information I should know about glucagon (GlucaGen)?
- What should I discuss with my health care provider before using glucagon (GlucaGen)?
- How should I use glucagon (GlucaGen)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (GlucaGen)?
- What happens if I overdose (GlucaGen)?
- What should I avoid after using glucagon (GlucaGen)?
- What other drugs will affect glucagon (GlucaGen)?
- Where can I get more information?
What should I discuss with my health care provider before using glucagon (GlucaGen)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to glucagon or lactose, or if you have a tumor of the pancreas (insulinoma) or 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.
To make sure you can safely use glucagon, tell your doctor if you have other medical conditions, especially:
- any tumor of the pancreas;
- if you have not recently eaten on a regular basis; or
- if you have chronic low blood sugar.
FDA pregnancy category B. Glucagon is not expected to harm an unborn baby, but quickly treating hypoglycemia would outweigh any risks posed by using glucagon.
It is not known whether glucagon passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
In an emergency situation it may not be possible before you are treated with glucagon to tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you have received this medication.
How should I use glucagon (GlucaGen)?
Glucagon is injected under the skin, into a muscle, or into a vein. You will be shown how to use emergency glucagon injections for severe hypoglycemia. Call your doctor after each time you use a glucagon injection.
This medication comes with instructions for safe and effective use for you or a caregiver. Become familiar with these instructions and follow them carefully whenever you need to use a glucagon injection. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Hypoglycemia should be treated as quickly as possible. Having low blood sugar for too long can cause seizure, coma, or death.
After the injection, you should eat a source of sugar (fruit juice, glucose gel, raisins, non-diet soda) and then eat a snack or small meal such as cheese and crackers or a meat sandwich.
Be sure you know how to give a glucagon injection before you need to use it. Use half of the adult dose if you are giving an injection to a child younger than 6, or to anyone who weighs less than 55 pounds.
Glucagon is a powder medicine that must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. Prepare your dose in a syringe only when you are ready to give an injection. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Mix a new dose, and call your doctor for instructions if the second dose also has particles after mixing.
If you are a caregiver, get emergency medical help after giving a glucagon injection. If the patient does not wake up within 15 minutes, you may need to mix a new dose and give a second injection.
Know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to recognize them: headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, or trouble concentrating.
Always keep a source of sugar available in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar. If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use an injection of glucagon. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.
Check your blood sugar carefully during a time of stress or illness, if you travel, exercise more than usual, drink alcohol, or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your diabetes medication dose needs may also change.
Ask your doctor how to adjust your diabetes medication dose if needed. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.
To keep from having severe hypoglycemia, follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
Store glucagon powder and the diluent at cool room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Throw away any mixed medicine you have not used right away. Do not use this medication after the expiration date on the label has passed.
Additional GlucaGen Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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