Glucagon Injection

Glucagon injection treats low blood sugar. This medication is emergency treatment for diabetes. A healthcare provider can give you this injection in a hospital or clinic setting or they’ll teach you how to safely administer it at home.

What is this medication?

GLUCAGON (GLU ka gon) treats very low blood sugar (severe hypoglycemia) in an emergency. Call emergency services after using this medication. You may need additional treatment. Glucagon works by helping your liver release stored sugar into your blood, which raises your blood sugar (glucose) levels.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): GlucaGen, Glucagon, Gvoke, Gvoke HypoPen, Gvoke PFS


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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Eating less due to illness, surgery, dieting, or any other reason
  • Heart disease
  • Low adrenal gland function
  • Pancreatic tumor
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Poor nutrition
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to glucagon, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is injected under the skin or into a muscle. When this medication is injected into a vein, it is given by a care team in a hospital or clinic setting. If you get this medication at home, you will be taught how to prepare and give it. Use exactly as directed. Do not take your medication more often than directed.

It is important that you put your used injectors, needles, and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or care team to get one.

This medication comes with INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE. Ask your pharmacist for directions on how to use this medication. Read the information carefully. Talk to your pharmacist or care team if you have questions.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While this medication may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.


What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply. This medication is not for regular use.

What may interact with this medication?

Interactions are not expected.

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.


What should I watch for while using this medication?

If you receive this medication as part of a diagnostic test, follow your care team's advice for eating and drinking after the procedure.

If you have this kit to help treat low blood sugar:

Always get immediate medical help after receiving an injection of this medication. This is very important. Do this even if you respond to the medication and are alert.

Keep this kit with you at all times. Wear a medical identification bracelet or chain to say you have diabetes, and carry a card that lists all your medications.

Show your family members and others where you keep this kit. Make sure that you and your family or caregiver know how to use this kit the right way before you need it. They need to know how to use it before you need it.

Learn how to check your blood sugar. Learn the symptoms of low and high blood sugar and how to manage them.

Always carry a quick-source of sugar with you in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar. Examples include hard sugar candy or glucose tablets. Make sure others know that you can choke if you eat or drink when you develop serious symptoms of low blood sugar, such as seizures or unconsciousness. They must get medical help at once. Also, remind others that they may need to give you this medication injection before medical help is available. A repeat injection may be needed while waiting for medical help.

After you are alert and can swallow after an injection of this medication, you should eat or drink some carbohydrates to prevent continued low blood sugar.

Do not drive or operate machinery until you are alert and have eaten sugar or a sugar-sweetened product such as a regular soft drink or fruit juice.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Store in the original container. Protect from light. Do not refrigerate or freeze. Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date. Always replace your medication before it expires.

Get rid of any unused medication after opening and preparing for use. Do not store for later use.

To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:

  • Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
  • If you cannot return the medication, ask your pharmacist or care team how to get rid of this medication safely.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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