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Gvoke (Generic Glucagon Injection)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Gvoke is a prescription medicine used to treat very low blood sugar (severe hypoglycemia) in people with diabetes ages 2 years and above. It is an injectable form of glucagon, which works by raising blood sugar levels quickly to treat severe hypoglycemia.

How should this medicine be used?

Gvoke should be used according to the instructions provided by a healthcare professional. Typically, it comes in a prefilled syringe or auto-injector device for easy administration. The steps for using Gvoke can vary slightly depending on the specific product, but generally, you should follow these steps:

  • Prepare the injection: If using a prefilled syringe, remove the cap and check the liquid in the syringe for any particles or discoloration. If using an auto-injector, remove the device from its case and check that it is not damaged.
  • Administer the injection: Inject Gvoke into the muscle (intramuscular injection) of the person’s thigh, buttocks, or upper arm. Follow the instructions provided with the product for the specific injection site.
  • Dispose of the device: After administering the injection, safely dispose of the syringe or auto-injector as directed by your healthcare provider or local regulations.
  • Seek medical help: After administering Gvoke, seek medical help immediately, even if the person starts to feel better. It is essential to determine the underlying cause of the severe hypoglycemia and ensure appropriate follow-up care.

It’s crucial to receive proper training from a healthcare professional on how to use Gvoke correctly, especially in emergency situations when severe hypoglycemia occurs. Always carry Gvoke with you if you are at risk of experiencing severe hypoglycemia, and ensure that family members, caregivers, or close contacts are aware of how to administer it in case of an emergency.

Other uses for this medicine

There are some off-label or investigational uses of glucagon, including:

  • Beta-blocker overdose: Glucagon can be used in the treatment of severe poisoning or overdose of beta-blocker medications.
  • Calcium channel blocker overdose: Similarly, glucagon may be used to treat severe poisoning or overdose of calcium channel blocker medications.
  • Diagnostic aid: Glucagon can sometimes be used in diagnostic procedures to relax the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, aiding in visualization during certain imaging studies.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions for Gvoke, it’s essential to consider the following:

  • Allergy: Inform your healthcare provider if you are allergic to glucagon or any other ingredients in Gvoke.
  • Medical conditions: If you have certain medical conditions, such as pheochromocytoma (a rare tumor of the adrenal gland), insulinoma (a tumor of the pancreas), or adrenal insufficiency, special caution may be needed when using Gvoke.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Inform your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, as the safety of Gvoke during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not well-established.
  • Interactions: Gvoke may interact with other medications or substances. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking before using Gvoke.
  • Storage: Follow the storage instructions provided with Gvoke to ensure its effectiveness and safety.
  • Training: Ensure that you and your caregivers receive proper training on how to use Gvoke in emergency situations, especially for the treatment of severe hypoglycemia.

Always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance regarding the use of Gvoke and any special precautions that may apply to your situation.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Special dietary instructions for Gvoke are not typically required. However, it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet as prescribed by your healthcare provider to manage your diabetes effectively. If you have any questions or concerns about your diet in relation to Gvoke, discuss them with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget a dose of Gvoke, you should administer it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up. It’s essential to maintain proper communication with your healthcare provider regarding missed doses and any adjustments that may be necessary. If you have any concerns or questions about missed doses, consult your healthcare provider for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Gvoke (glucagon) can cause side effects, although not everyone may experience them. Common side effects of Gvoke include:

  • Nausea: Some individuals may experience nausea after taking Gvoke.
  • Vomiting: Vomiting may occur as a side effect of Gvoke administration.
  • Headache: Headaches are a possible side effect of using Gvoke.
  • Temporary increase in heart rate: Some people may experience a temporary increase in heart rate (tachycardia) after using Gvoke.
  • Increased blood pressure: Gvoke may cause a temporary increase in blood pressure in some individuals.
  • Injection site reactions: Pain, redness, or irritation at the injection site may occur after administering Gvoke.
  • Allergic reactions: Although rare, allergic reactions to Gvoke can occur. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include rash, itching, swelling (especially of the face, tongue, or throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing. Allergic reactions to Gvoke require immediate medical attention.

It’s important to note that this is not a comprehensive list of all possible side effects of Gvoke. Some individuals may experience side effects not listed here. If you experience any unusual or bothersome symptoms after using Gvoke, contact your healthcare provider promptly. Additionally, if you have any concerns about the side effects of Gvoke or its suitability for you, discuss them with your healthcare provider before using the medication.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and disposal of Gvoke:

  • Storage: Gvoke should be stored at room temperature between 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). It should be kept in its original packaging and protected from light. Avoid freezing Gvoke, and do not store it in the refrigerator. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Disposal: Dispose of used Gvoke syringes or auto-injectors as directed by your healthcare provider or local regulations. Do not reuse syringes or auto-injectors, even if there is leftover medication. Follow any specific instructions provided with the product for safe disposal.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of emergency/overdose of Gvoke:

  • Seek medical assistance: If you suspect an overdose of Gvoke or if someone has accidentally administered too much Gvoke, seek immediate medical attention. Contact emergency services or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
  • Symptom management: While waiting for medical help to arrive, monitor the person’s vital signs and symptoms. Be prepared to provide information about the amount of Gvoke administered and the time of administration.
  • Supportive care: Treatment for Gvoke overdose may involve supportive care to manage symptoms. This may include monitoring vital signs, administering fluids, and providing treatment for any complications that arise.

What other information should I know?

  • Training: Ensure that you and your caregivers receive proper training on how to use Gvoke in emergency situations, especially for the treatment of severe hypoglycemia. Familiarize yourself with the steps for administration and storage of Gvoke.
  • Carry Gvoke with you: If you are at risk of experiencing severe hypoglycemia, carry Gvoke with you at all times. This ensures that you have access to emergency treatment when needed.
  • Regular monitoring: Regularly monitor your blood sugar levels as recommended by your healthcare provider. This helps to prevent episodes of severe hypoglycemia and ensures appropriate management of your diabetes.
  • Follow-up: After administering Gvoke for severe hypoglycemia, seek follow-up care with your healthcare provider. It’s essential to determine the underlying cause of the hypoglycemia and make any necessary adjustments to your diabetes management plan.
  • Medical alert identification: Consider wearing a medical alert bracelet or necklace to inform others of your diabetes and the potential need for emergency glucagon treatment.

Always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance regarding the use of Gvoke and how to respond in case of emergency or overdose.

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