What is this medicine?

GLUCAGON (GLU ka gon) occurs naturally in the body. It increases blood sugar. This medicine is used as an emergency treatment for severe low blood sugar in diabetic patients, especially if they are not able to take sugar by mouth.

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


What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

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

  • adrenal disease
  • eating less due to illness, surgery, dieting, or any other reason
  • poor nutrition
  • pancreatic tumors
  • pheochromocytoma
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to glucagon, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for use in the nose. Follow the directions on your product or prescription label. Before an emergency arises, you and the person(s) most likely to give you the medicine should read these instructions carefully. If you will need this medicine at home, you and the person(s) most likely to give you the medicine will be taught how to give this medicine. The medicine will work even if you have a cold or are taking cold medicine.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 4 years 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.

What may interact with this medicine?

This medicine is only used during an emergency. Significant drug interactions are not likely during that time.

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 medicine?

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

Keep this medicine 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 medicine. Make sure that you and your family or caregiver know how to use this medicine the right way before you need it. They need to know how to use it before you need it. Remember to check the expiration date of your medicine regularly. You may need to have an additional dose of this medicine with you. Talk to your doctor or health care professional about your need for an extra dose. Some emergencies may require an additional dose.

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 medicine before medical help is available. A repeat dose may be needed while waiting for medical help.

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

After you are alert and can swallow after a dose of this medicine, 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 medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • fast, irregular heartbeat that does not go away
  • high or low blood pressure
  • signs and symptoms of low blood sugar such as feeling anxious; confusion; dizziness; increased hunger; unusually weak or tired; increased sweating; shakiness; cold, clammy skin; irritable; headache; blurred vision; fast heartbeat; loss of consciousness

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

  • headache
  • nausea
  • temporary fast heartbeat
  • 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 medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store unopened at room temperature up to 30 degrees C (86 degrees F) until the expiration date. Keep the nasal powder in the shrink wrap until it is time to use it. If it has been opened, then it may not work as well. The tube only contains 1 dose and cannot be reused.

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.

Copyright ©2022 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy