Glucagon Warnings and Precautions
Talk to your healthcare provider before using glucagon if you have heart disease, adrenal insufficiency, or a tumor of the pancreas. Other warnings and precautions for glucagon extend to people who are malnourished or have chronic hypoglycemia. If you have a pheochromocytoma or an allergy to any of the ingredients used to make glucagon, you should avoid this product altogether.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using glucagon if you have:
- An insulinoma (tumor of the pancreas)
- A pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland)
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Chronic hypoglycemia
- Heart disease
- Any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this drug include the following:
- Glucagon should be used with caution in people with insulinomas (a certain type of tumor in the pancreas that produces insulin). Although glucagon will initially be effective for increasing blood sugar, the rise in blood sugar may cause the tumor to secrete more insulin, leading to another episode of low blood sugar. For people with this type of condition, glucose (given by mouth or intravenously) is usually the best treatment.
- People with pheochromocytomas should not take this medication, as an extremely dangerous increase in blood pressure may result.
- Any time an individual is given a dose of glucagon, his or her healthcare provider should be alerted. If the person does not wake up within 15 minutes, seek emergency medical care while giving a second dose.
- Glucagon may not be effective for increasing blood sugar in people with malnutrition, alcohol-induced hypoglycemia, chronic hypoglycemia, or adrenal insufficiency.
- In addition to the well-known use of increasing blood sugar, this medication can be used to slow down the digestive tract during certain diagnostic procedures. This medication should be used cautiously in people with heart disease when used for this purpose. However, when glucagon is used to treat dangerously low blood sugar, the benefits usually outweigh the risks for such individuals.
- Glucagon can react with other medications (see Glucagon Drug Interactions).
- This product is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this drug when pregnant (see Glucagon and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if glucagon passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Glucagon and Breastfeeding).