Glucagon Nasal Powder

Glucagon nasal powder is a treatment for people with diabetes who have severely low blood sugar. To use it, you insert the device deep into one nostril and then press the plunger to release the medication. The most common side effect is a bloody nose and body pain.

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.



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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:

  • 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 medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication 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 medication should read these instructions carefully. If you will need this medication at home, you and the person(s) most likely to give you the medication will be taught how to give this medication. The medication will work even if you have a cold or are taking cold medication.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While this medication 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 medication?

This medication is only used during an emergency. Significant medication 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 medication?

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

Keep this medication 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 medication. Make sure that you and your family or caregiver know how to use this medication 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 medication regularly. You may need to have an additional dose of this medication with you. Talk to your care team 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 medication 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 medication. This is very important. Do this even if you respond to the medication and are alert.

After you are alert and can swallow after a dose 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):

  • Dryness or irritation inside the nose
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • 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 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.

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

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