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liquid glucagon, xeris pharmaceuticals, glucagon pen, Gvoke, HypoPen

FDA Approves First Ready-to-Use Glucagon Pen

The FDA recently approved the new ready-to-use liquid glucagon pen Gvoke from Xeris Pharmaceuticals.This liquid glucagon does not have to be mixed and will make it easier to save lives in dangerous situations of severe hypoglycemia.

Similar to an Epi-Pen, this new glucagon works quickly to alleviate a possible life-threatening situation. For decades, glucagon came in a kit where powder and liquid had to be mixed with a syringe. This process can take time, lead to error, and be overwhelming in an emergency situation.

The new glucagon is approved for ages 2 years and older, and it can be injected via a prefilled syringe (PFS) or auto-injector (HypoPen). It will be available in 2 different doses: 0.5 mg/0.1 mL dose for children and 1 mg/0.2 mL does for adolescents and adults.

What is glucagon?

Glucagon is a hormone that helps the body to quickly raise blood sugar levels by stimulating it to convert stored glycogen into glucose. It is helpful to have on hand in case of severe blood sugar drops.

It’s administered by injection because the patient is usually in a state where they can’t swallow medicine. 

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Gvoke side effects

The possible adverse side effects with the new Gvoke glucagon are nausea, vomiting, injection site edema, and headache. Side effects in pediatric and adolescent patients included nausea, low blood sugar, vomiting, headache, abdominal pain, high blood sugar, and discomfort at the injection site. 

BAQSIMI glucagon

This new FDA approval of Gvoke comes on the heels of another next-generation glucagon called BAQSIMI, a powder glucagon that’s administered through the nose.

The price for both Gvoke and BAQSIMI will be $280, the same price as traditional glucagon emergency kits. Xeris Pharmaceuticals is working on ways to help people pay for Gvoke. 

The company is also looking into ways the new liquid-stable glucagon could treat exercise-induced hypoglycemia and hypoglycemia following bariatric surgery.

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Symptoms of hypoglycemia

Know what to be aware of when severe hypoglycemia comes on. Here are the main symptoms. 

Symptoms of hypoglycemia

  • Dizziness
  • Shakiness
  • Sweating
  • Hunger
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia

  • Jerky movements
  • Muscle weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Blurry vision
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Seizures
  • Falling

If you have type 1 or are worried about experiencing severe blood sugar lows, talk with your doctor about Gvoke glucagon.