Gvoke is a brand-name prescription medication. It’s FDA-approved to treat severe hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar) in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. With severe hypoglycemia, your blood sugar level is dangerously low. Gvoke can be used in adults and in children ages 2 years or older.

Gvoke comes as a single-dose prefilled HypoPen auto-injector and a single-dose prefilled syringe. Gvoke is given as a subcutaneous injection (under the skin) as soon as low blood sugar is noticed.

Gvoke contains the active drug glucagon. This hormone is found naturally in your body and also comes as a medication. Glucagon works with your liver to make glucose (sugar) quickly available to your body. This raises your blood sugar level.

Gvoke belongs to a class of medications called glycogenolytics. (A class of medications is a group of drugs that work in a similar way.)

Emergency use

With severe hypoglycemia, your blood sugar level can get so low that you may need someone else’s help to treat it. You may need someone to give you a dose of Gvoke. For this reason, you should make sure a family member, friend, caregiver, or co-worker knows how to recognize the signs of severe hypoglycemia. They should also know how to use Gvoke.

Severe hypoglycemia is a medical emergency and should be treated right away. You or someone else should call 911 or your local emergency phone number right after you take your first dose of Gvoke.

Effectiveness

For information on Gvoke’s effectiveness, see the “Gvoke for severe hypoglycemia” section.

Gvoke is available only as a brand-name medication. However, glucagon (the active drug in Gvoke) is available in generic form.

A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

Gvoke contains the active drug glucagon.

The Gvoke dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • your blood sugar level
  • your age
  • your weight

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Gvoke comes as a single-dose prefilled HypoPen auto-injector and a single-dose prefilled syringe. It’s given as a subcutaneous injection (under the skin).

Gvoke is available in the following forms and strengths:

  • HypoPen auto-injector, containing 0.5 milligrams (mg) of glucagon in 0.1 milliliters (mL) of solution
  • HypoPen auto-injector, containing 1 mg of glucagon in 0.2 mL of solution
  • prefilled syringe, containing 0.5 mg of glucagon in 0.1 mL of solution
  • prefilled syringe, containing 1 mg of glucagon in 0.2 mL of solution

In some cases, you may need multiple doses of Gvoke to raise your blood sugar level. It’s important to note that each auto-injector or syringe can only be used once and should be disposed of after use. Talk with your doctor about how many doses of Gvoke you should keep on hand.

The HypoPen and prefilled syringes come with needles already attached. You won’t have to purchase separate needles to use Gvoke.

Dosage for severe hypoglycemia

The typical dose for adults is 1 mg of Gvoke.

If your blood sugar level doesn’t increase enough within 15 minutes after taking the first dose, you may need another 1 mg-dose of Gvoke.

Pediatric dosage

For children 2 to 11 years old, the dose is based on their weight:

  • for children who weigh less than 99 pounds (45 kilograms), the usual dose is 0.5 mg of Gvoke
  • for children who weigh 99 lb (45 kg) or more, the usual dose is 1 mg of Gvoke

For children 12 years and older, the typical dose is 1 mg of Gvoke.

If the child’s blood sugar level doesn’t increase enough within 15 minutes after taking the first dose, they may need another dose of Gvoke. In this case, the second dose is the same as the first one.

You should use Gvoke according to your doctor or healthcare provider’s instructions.

Gvoke is given by subcutaneous injection (under the skin). It can be given in:

  • the lower abdomen (belly)
  • the outer thigh
  • the outer side of the upper arm

Gvoke comes in two forms: a prefilled syringe and a HypoPen auto-injector. For the prefilled syringe, visit the drug manufacturer’s site for step-by-step instructions on how to use it. For the HypoPen auto-injector, explore the “Instructions for Use” section of Gvoke’s prescribing information for usage instructions.

During an episode of severe hypoglycemia, you can either give yourself a Gvoke injection or, if needed, have someone else give it to you. Make sure that a family member, friend, caregiver, or co-worker knows how to recognize severe hypoglycemia and understands how to use Gvoke.

Severe hypoglycemia is a medical emergency and should be treated right away. You or someone else should call 911 or your local emergency phone number right after you take the first dose of Gvoke.

When to take

Gvoke should be used for episodes of severe hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar).

Hypoglycemia occurs if your blood sugar drops below a certain level. For many people who have diabetes, a normal blood sugar level is above 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

With severe hypoglycemia, your blood sugar is so low that you may need someone else’s help to treat it. Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia can include:

  • seizures
  • trouble eating or drinking
  • shaking or sweating
  • confusion
  • lack of coordination
  • loss of consciousness (not being able to respond to sound or touch)

Ask your doctor what your target blood sugar level is and at what point you need to use Gvoke.

Taking Gvoke with food

You should eat fast-acting carbohydrates as soon as Gvoke raises your blood sugar to a normal level. The American Diabetes Association recommends eating at least 15 grams (g) of carbohydrates within 15 minutes of experiencing hypoglycemia. (This is sometimes called the 15-15 rule.)

Examples of 15 g of fast-acting carbohydrates include:

  • 4 ounces of fruit juice
  • 4 ounces of regular (not diet) soda
  • glucose gel, liquid, powder, or tablets
  • hard candy (the candy’s label can tell you how many pieces equal 15 g)

Other drugs are available that can treat severe hypoglycemia. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Gvoke, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat severe hypoglycemia include:

You may wonder how Gvoke compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Gvoke and glucagon are alike and different.

Ingredients

Gvoke is a brand-name prescription medication. Glucagon is its active drug. However, glucagon is also available in other forms, as both generic and brand-name drugs, that are taken differently than Gvoke. (Glucagon is also available as the brand-name drug Baqsimi. For more information, see the section below called “Gvoke vs. Baqsimi.”)

Uses

Both Gvoke and glucagon are used to treat severe hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar) in adults and in children ages 2 years or older.

Drug forms and administration

Gvoke comes as a single-dose prefilled HypoPen auto-injector and a single-dose prefilled syringe. It’s given as a subcutaneous injection (under the skin) as soon as low blood sugar is noticed. You can give yourself the injection, or someone else can give it to you if needed.

Glucagon is the active drug in Gvoke. It also comes in other forms that are used differently than Gvoke.

Side effects and risks

Gvoke and glucagon have some similar side effects and others that vary. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

These lists contain up to 10 of the most common mild side effects that can occur with Gvoke or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Gvoke:
    • injection site reactions
    • headache
    • skin rash, such as such as necrolytic migratory erythema (NME)
    • abdominal (belly) pain
  • Can occur with both Gvoke and glucagon:
    • nausea and vomiting

Serious side effects

This list contains examples of serious side effects that can occur with Gvoke or with both drugs (when taken individually).

Effectiveness

Gvoke and glucagon are both used to treat severe hypoglycemia. Glucagon is the active drug in Gvoke.

Two clinical trials of Gvoke involved adults ages 18 to 74 who had type 1 diabetes. In both studies, people either received 1 mg of Gvoke or 1 mg of glucagon from a glucagon emergency kit (GEK).

Treatment success was defined as an increase in blood sugar to 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or above after using either drug, or an increase of at least 20 mg/dL, a half-hour after taking the medication.

  • 98.7% of people who used Gvoke had treatment success.
  • 100% of people who used glucagon had treatment success.

Based on the results of these studies, it was determined that Gvoke is just as effective at treating severe hypoglycemia as glucagon.

Costs

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, generic glucagon generally costs less than Gvoke. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Gvoke and Baqsimi are both prescribed for the treatment of severe hypoglycemia. Here’s a look at how these drugs are alike and different.

Ingredients

Both Gvoke and Baqsimi contain the active drug glucagon.

Uses

Both Gvoke and Baqsimi are FDA-approved to treat severe hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar) in adults with diabetes.

Gvoke is also approved for use in children ages 2 years and older. Baqsimi is approved for use in children ages 4 years and older.

Drug forms and administration

Gvoke comes as a single-dose prefilled HypoPen auto-injector and a single-dose prefilled syringe. It’s given as a subcutaneous injection (under the skin) as soon as your low blood sugar is noticed.

Baqsimi comes as a nasal (nose) spray. It’s given as one spray into one nostril during an episode of severe hypoglycemia. The dose doesn’t have to be inhaled.

With either of these drugs, you may need help taking it during an episode of severe hypoglycemia. You should teach someone else how to give you a dose in case you need help.

Side effects and risks

Gvoke and Baqsimi have some similar side effects and others that vary. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

These lists contain up to 10 of the most common mild side effects that can occur with both Gvoke, with Baqsimi or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Gvoke:
    • injection site reactions
    • skin rash, such as such as necrolytic migratory erythema (NME)
    • abdominal (belly) pain
  • Can occur with Baqsimi:
    • sneezing
    • itchy, red, or watery eyes
    • runny or stuffy nose
    • itchy throat, ears, nose, and eyes
  • Can occur with both Gvoke and Baqsimi:
    • nausea and vomiting
    • headache

Serious side effects

This list contains examples of serious side effects that can occur with Gvoke or with both drugs (when taken individually).

Effectiveness

These drugs haven’t been directly compared in clinical studies. However, studies have found both Gvoke and Baqsimi to be effective for treating severe hypoglycemia.

Costs

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, Gvoke and Baqsimi generally cost about the same. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Gvoke and Baqsimi are both brand-name drugs. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics. There are currently no generic forms of either drug.

However, glucagon (the active drug in both medications), is available as a generic drug in other forms. (To learn more about glucagon, see the “Gvoke vs. glucagon” section above.)

When you get Gvoke from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the box. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk to your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

The shelf life of a drug is the amount of time it can safely be used. Gvoke’s shelf life may depend on when the pharmacy received the drug and when you got it from the pharmacy. Talk with your pharmacist about how long your specific Gvoke HypoPen auto-injector or prefilled syringe will be safe to use.

Storage

How long a medication remains good can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

Gvoke should be stored at a room temperature of 68° to 77°F (20° to 25°C). It should be stored in its original container away from light. Avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms.

Disposal

Right after you’ve used a syringe, needle, or autoinjector, dispose of it in an FDA-approved sharps disposal container. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident or harming themselves with the needle. You can buy a sharps container online, or ask your doctor, pharmacist, or health insurance company where to get one.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information on how to dispose of your medication.

Gvoke can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Gvoke. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Gvoke, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to report to the FDA a side effect you’ve had with Gvoke, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects of Gvoke can include:*

  • abdominal (belly) pain

Other mild side effects of Gvoke are explained in “Side effect details” below. These include:*

  • nausea and vomiting
  • skin rash, such as necrolytic migratory erythema (NME)
  • injection site reactions
  • headache

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* These are partial lists of mild side effects from Gvoke. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view Gvoke’s prescribing information.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Gvoke aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency phone number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

Side effects in children

Gvoke is approved for use in children ages 2 years and older. In clinical studies, some side effects of Gvoke occurred in children that didn’t occur in adults.

In one study of children with type 1 diabetes:

  • 39% of children who used Gvoke experienced hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • 7% of children who used Gvoke experienced hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
  • 3% of children who used Gvoke had abdominal (belly) pain
  • 3% of children who used Gvoke had hives

Gvoke wasn’t compared with any other drugs in these studies.

It’s not known how often these side effects occurred in children with type 2 diabetes during clinical trials.

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug. Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Gvoke. Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth and redness in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have a severe allergic reaction to Gvoke. Call 911 or your local emergency phone number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of Gvoke. In clinical studies:

  • 30% of adults using Gvoke experienced nausea
  • 16% of adults using Gvoke experienced vomiting

In another study:

  • 45% of children using Gvoke experienced nausea
  • 19% of children using Gvoke experienced vomiting

Gvoke wasn’t compared with any other drugs in these studies.

Nausea and vomiting can also be symptoms of hypoglycemia. If you experience severe nausea and vomiting after using Gvoke, call 911 or your local emergency number. These symptoms may raise your risk for another episode of hypoglycemia.

Skin rash

Necrolytic migratory erythema (NME) is a type of skin rash. This wasn’t a side effect reported during clinical trials of Gvoke. However, it has occurred in people who’ve used other forms of glucagon. (Glucagon is the active drug in Gvoke.)

Symptoms of NME can include:

  • scaly, itchy, and red skin plaques
  • blisters spreading across the skin

It’s not known how often NME occurs or how often it’s been caused by Gvoke. However, NME typically goes away after you stop taking glucagon.

Hives have been seen in children who used Gvoke. In clinical studies, 3% of children using Gvoke developed hives. Gvoke wasn’t compared with any other drugs in the studies.

Call your doctor right away if you experience any symptoms of a skin rash or reaction after using Gvoke. Your doctor may want to see you to make sure the reaction doesn’t spread. They may also recommend a different treatment for your severe hypoglycemia.

Injection site reactions

Injection site reactions can occur after using Gvoke. Symptoms of an injection site reaction can include redness, swelling, or pain at the site of your injection.

In clinical studies, injection site reactions occurred in 7% of adults and in 3% of children who used Gvoke.

Talk with your doctor if you have an injection site reaction after using Gvoke. They may be able to recommend ways to relieve this side effect.

Headache

Headache is a common side effect after using Gvoke.

In clinical studies:

  • 5% of adults who used Gvoke experienced headache
  • 7% of children who used Gvoke experienced headache

Gvoke wasn’t compared with any other drugs in these studies.

It’s important to note that headache may also be caused by high or low blood sugar. If you have a headache after using Gvoke, recheck your blood sugar to make sure it’s not too low again.

If your blood sugar is in a healthy range and you’re still experiencing headache, you can talk with your doctor. They may be able to recommend ways to relieve this side effect.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Gvoke to treat certain conditions. Gvoke is FDA-approved to treat severe hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar) in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It can be used in adults and in children ages 2 years or older.

Hypoglycemia occurs if your blood sugar level drops below a certain level. For many people who have diabetes, a normal blood sugar level is above 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

Hypoglycemia can be a side effect of certain diabetes drugs. It can also happen if you are sick, increase your physical activity, or skip a meal.

With severe hypoglycemia, your blood sugar is so low that you may need someone else’s help to treat it. Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia can include:

  • seizures
  • trouble eating or drinking
  • shaking or sweating
  • confusion
  • lack of coordination
  • loss of consciousness (not being able to respond to sound or touch)

Ask your doctor what your target blood sugar level is and at what point you need to use Gvoke.

Effectiveness for severe hypoglycemia

Two clinical trials of Gvoke involved adults ages 18 to 74 who had type 1 diabetes. In both studies, people received either 1 mg of Gvoke or 1 mg of glucagon from a glucagon emergency kit (GEK).

Treatment success was defined as an increase in blood sugar to 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or above after using either drug, or an increase of at least 20 mg/dL, a half-hour after taking the medication.

  • 98.7% of people who used Gvoke had treatment success.
  • 100% of people who used glucagon had treatment success.

Based on the results of these studies, it was determined that Gvoke is just as effective at treating severe hypoglycemia as glucagon.

Gvoke and children

Gvoke is approved for use in children ages 2 years and older.

In a clinical study, Gvoke was studied in children ages 2 to 12 years old who had type 1 diabetes. The dose of Gvoke given depended on the child’s age and weight.

Treatment success was defined as an increase in blood sugar of at least 25 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) after receiving Gvoke. In this study, 100% of the children had treatment success.

It’s not known whether alcohol interacts with Gvoke. However, alcohol can affect your blood sugar level. For some people, drinking alcohol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about whether it’s safe for you to drink after using Gvoke.

Gvoke can interact with several other medications.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Gvoke and other medications

Below, we describe medications that can interact with Gvoke. This section doesn’t list all drugs that may interact with Gvoke.

Before taking Gvoke, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Gvoke and beta-blockers

People who take beta-blocker medications may have temporary increases in their heart rate or blood pressure after using Gvoke.

Beta-blockers are mainly used to treat high blood pressure and certain heart conditions, such as angina and irregular heart rhythms. Beta-blockers are also found in some eye drops for glaucoma (increased pressure in your eye).

Examples of beta-blockers include:

  • metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
  • carvedilol (Coreg)
  • bisoprolol

If you take a beta-blocker, talk with your doctor about whether Gvoke is right for you.

Gvoke and indomethacin

Gvoke shouldn’t be taken with indomethacin (Indocin). This is a prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to relieve inflammation (swelling), pain, and fever.

Gvoke may not be as effective in raising blood sugar levels in people who take indomethacin. Taking these drugs together may even make hypoglycemia worse.

If you take indomethacin, talk with your doctor about your treatment options for severe hypoglycemia.

Gvoke and warfarin

Warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) is a prescription anticoagulant medication (blood thinner) used to treat and prevent blood clots.

Taking warfarin with Gvoke can raise the amount of warfarin in your body. Too much warfarin can raise your risk of excessive bleeding. This can lead to increased bleeding or bruising. In some cases, it can even lead to death.

If you take warfarin, talk with your doctor about whether Gvoke is right for you. Your doctor may recommend other treatments for severe hypoglycemia.

Gvoke and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Gvoke. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Gvoke.

Gvoke and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Gvoke. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Gvoke, talk with your doctor.

As with all medications, the cost of Gvoke can vary. To find current prices for Gvoke HypoPen (or other forms) in your area, check out GoodRx.com.

The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Before approving coverage for Gvoke, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Gvoke, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Gvoke, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Xeris Pharmaceuticals Inc., the manufacturer of Gvoke, offers a program called myGvoke. This program offers cost savings options for Gvoke prefilled syringes. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 877-myGvoke (877-694-8653) or visit the program website.

If you’d like to know about cost savings on Gvoke autoinjectors, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to recommend programs through your local pharmacy to help lower the cost of the drug.

Generic version

Gvoke isn’t available in a generic form. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

Glucagon, the active drug in Gvoke, is available as a generic. However, the forms that glucagon is available as are taken differently than Gvoke.

Gvoke is FDA-approved to treat severe hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar) in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It can be used in adults and in children ages 2 years or older.

What happens with severe hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia occurs if your blood sugar level drops below a certain level. For many people who have diabetes, a normal blood sugar level is above 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

Hypoglycemia can be a side effect of certain diabetes drugs. It can also happen if you are sick, increase your physical activity, or skip a meal.

With severe hypoglycemia, your blood sugar can get so low that you may need someone else’s help to treat it. Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia include:

  • seizures
  • shaking or sweating
  • confusion and lack of coordination
  • trouble eating or drinking
  • loss of consciousness (not being able to respond to sound or touch)

According to American Diabetes Association guidelines, it’s important for people with diabetes to check their blood sugar regularly. This can help you and your doctor manage your diet and medications to keep your blood sugar level in a healthy range. Ask your doctor what your target blood sugar level is and at what point you need to use Gvoke.

Also, talk with your doctor if you experience severe hypoglycemia. They can help you understand what caused it and help you avoid future episodes of hypoglycemia.

Severe hypoglycemia is a medical emergency and should be treated right away. You or some else should call 911 or your local emergency number if you experience severe hypoglycemia, even when you take Gvoke.

What Gvoke does

Gvoke contains the active drug glucagon. This hormone works with your liver to make glucose (sugar) quickly available to your body. This raises your blood sugar level. Gvoke works in two ways:

  • It releases stored glucose from your liver cells.
  • It increases the production of glucose.

How long does it take to work?

Gvoke begins to work quickly to raise your blood sugar level. It may take up to 15 minutes for your body to respond to the drug.

If you aren’t able to eat carbohydrates or you don’t feel better within 15 minutes, you can receive another Gvoke dose from a new auto-injector or prefilled syringe. If you’re unconscious, someone else should call 911 or your local emergency phone number.

It’s not known whether Gvoke is safe to use during pregnancy. This drug hasn’t been studied in pregnant women.

In small studies, glucagon (the active drug in Gvoke) wasn’t shown to be harmful if used during pregnancy. Animal studies have also not shown any increased risk of harm to a fetus when used during pregnancy. However, animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using Gvoke.

It’s not known if Gvoke is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Gvoke.

For more information about taking Gvoke during pregnancy, see the “Gvoke and pregnancy” section above.

It’s not known whether Gvoke passes into breastmilk or how it may affect breastfed children. However, glucagon (the active drug in Gvoke) is generally thought to be safe to use while breastfeeding.

If you’re currently breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using Gvoke.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Gvoke.

Is Gvoke meant to be used for treating hyperglycemia?

No. Gvoke isn’t meant to treat hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Gvoke raises your blood sugar level, which could make hyperglycemia worse. Gvoke is only used to treat severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

If you have hyperglycemia, talk with your doctor about your treatment options.

Can I use Gvoke for hypoglycemia if I don’t have diabetes?

Gvoke hasn’t been studied for the treatment of hypoglycemia in people who don’t have diabetes. Therefore, it’s not known whether it is safe or effective for use in people without diabetes.

If you don’t have diabetes, talk with your doctor about your options for treating hypoglycemia.

Why should I eat carbohydrates after I’ve taken Gvoke?

Eating carbohydrates after using Gvoke helps you avoid having another episode of hypoglycemia once the effects of the drug wear off. You should eat fast-acting carbohydrates as soon as Gvoke raises your blood sugar to a normal level.

The American Diabetes Association recommends eating at least 15 grams (g) of carbohydrates within 15 minutes of experiencing hypoglycemia. (This is sometimes called the 15-15 rule.) Examples of 15 g of fast-acting carbohydrates include:

  • 4 ounces of fruit juice
  • 4 ounces of regular (not diet) soda
  • glucose gel, liquid, powder, or tablets
  • hard candy (the candy’s label can tell you how many pieces equal 15 g)

If I feel better after using Gvoke, do I still need to seek medical attention?

Yes, it’s critical to seek immediate medical attention, even if you start feeling better after using Gvoke. Severe hypoglycemia is a medical emergency and should be treated right away. It’s important to note that Gvoke will only temporarily raise your blood sugar level.

You or someone else should call 911 or your local emergency phone number right after you take the first dose of Gvoke.

Talk with your doctor if you experience severe hypoglycemia. They can help you understand what caused it and help you avoid future episodes of hypoglycemia.

Is it safe to take more than one Gvoke dose if I think I need it?

Yes, it’s generally considered safe to use more than one dose of Gvoke if needed. Sometimes people will need more than one dose of Gvoke to raise their blood sugar.

If your blood sugar doesn’t respond after using one dose of Gvoke and waiting 15 minutes, it’s important to use another dose. However, keep in mind that each Gvoke pen or syringe can only be used one time. If you need another dose of Gvoke, you must use a new pen or syringe.

You or someone else should call 911 or your local emergency phone number right after you take the first dose of Gvoke.

When is it safe to use insulin after I take Gvoke?

Both the type of insulin you use and your dosing schedule will determine when it’s safe to use insulin after you take Gvoke. Talk with your doctor about when you should use insulin after taking Gvoke. They can help determine what’s causing your hypoglycemia and may adjust your insulin dosage as needed.

Before taking Gvoke, talk with your doctor about your health history. Gvoke may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Pheochromocytoma. If you have pheochromocytoma (a rare tumor in your adrenal gland), you shouldn’t take Gvoke. This is because Gvoke can cause a big increase in blood pressure by causing the release of hormones from the tumor. If you have this condition, talk with your doctor about your treatment options.
  • Insulinoma. You shouldn’t take Gvoke if you have insulinoma (a tumor in your pancreas). If you have this condition, Gvoke can cause your pancreas to release too much insulin. This can lead to severe hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar). If you have insulinoma, talk with your doctor about other treatment options.
  • Low glycogen. You shouldn’t take Gvoke if you have a low level of glycogen (a type of glucose your body stores for energy). Glucagon (the active drug in Gvoke) is only effective in people with a healthy amount of glycogen in their liver.
  • Glucagonoma. If you have a glucagonoma (a rare tumor involving the pancreas), you shouldn’t take Gvoke. People with this condition who regularly take glucagon (the active drug in Gvoke) have a higher risk for severe hypoglycemia and necrolytic migratory erythema (a type of skin rash).
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Gvoke or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t take Gvoke. Talk with your doctor about other treatment options.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Gvoke, see the “Gvoke side effects” section above.

Using more than the recommended dosage of Gvoke can lead to serious side effects.

Do not use more Gvoke than your doctor recommends.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose can include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • slowed movement of the digestive system

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Indications

Gvoke is used for the treatment of severe hypoglycemia in adults and in children ages 2 years or older.

Administration

Gvoke should be administered via subcutaneous injection only.

Mechanism of action

Glucagon works by stimulating the release of glucose from the liver and the breakdown of glycogen. This leads to increased blood glucose levels.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

Glucagon is extensively metabolized by the liver, kidneys, and plasma.

Its time to peak concentration in adults in approximately 50 minutes from administration. Time to peak concentration in children is 34 to 51 minutes.

The half-life of Gvoke is 32 minutes in adults.

Contraindications

Gvoke is contraindicated in people with:

  • pheochromocytoma
  • insulinoma
  • hypersensitivity to glucagon or any other component of Gvoke

Storage

Gvoke should be stored at a room temperature of 68° to 77°F (20° to 25°C). It should not be frozen or refrigerated.

Gvoke should be stored in its original pouch until it’s ready to be used. Each auto-injector or syringe can only be used once and should be disposed of after use.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.