Do You Have the Right Tools to Treat Very Low Blood Sugar?

ADA recommends ready-to-use glucagon for those at high risk for hypoglycemia

ADA Standards of Care 2024 hero image
Lauren Barr
February 17, 2024

The American Diabetes Association recently updated its guidelines for healthcare professionals. If you or your loved one takes medications that lower your blood sugar, such as insulin or secretagogues (sulfonylureas, meglitinides), it’s important to be aware of the updated guidelines related to hypoglycemia and ready-to-use glucagon. Being informed about the latest guidance will help you engage with your healthcare provider to understand your risk, identify the necessary tools for your diabetes toolkit, and determine when to use them so that you can keep yourself or your loved one safe.

Why are the ADA guidelines important?

The ADA Standards of Care are guidelines for healthcare professionals made by diabetes experts. They give recommendations on how to manage diabetes, and every year, these guidelines are updated with new research and insights to help people with diabetes, their loved ones, and doctors manage diabetes in the best way possible. 

2024 ADA Guidelines: What’s New?

The ADA makes it clear that individuals taking insulin or insulin secretagogues (i.e., sulfonylureas, meglitinides) are at risk for experiencing low blood sugar. While these medicines are important for managing blood sugar levels, they can sometimes make your blood sugar levels go too low. So, the ADA says1:

  1. You or your loved one should have a prescription for ready-to-use glucagon if taking:
    • Insulin
    • Sulfonylureas or meglitinides and have major risk factors such as recent blood sugar < 54 mg/dL, or low blood sugar unawareness. Discuss low blood sugar risk factors with your healthcare provider.
  1. Those in close contact with you or your loved one should learn where the ready-to-use glucagon is kept, how to use it, and when it is needed.
  2. You or your loved one should discuss low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) management during your first appointment, follow-up visits, and yearly check-ups with your doctor.

Why Ready-to-Use Glucagon Must Be in Your Diabetes Toolkit

Very low blood sugar can happen suddenly, and you need to act fast when it does. That’s where ready-to-use glucagon like Gvoke HypoPen® comes in. Gvoke HypoPen is the ready-to-use glucagon rescue pen anyone can administer2,3 with confidence.

  • Simple to administer. Anyone can administer in two simple steps,2 including you in certain situations.4
  • Ready to Use. It’s premixed and ready to go at a moment’s notice.3
  • Proven to work. Brings very low blood sugar back up quickly and safely.3*

Think of it as your safety net for when it matters most.

When to Use Ready-to-Use Glucagon

Because glucagon can rapidly reverse very low blood sugar, it’s viewed as one of the primary treatments for it.5

You can use ready-to-use glucagon when:

  • Correcting with food or drink isn’t working.
  • You are unable to swallow safely.
  • You feel like passing out.
  • You pass out or have a seizure. 

Talk to Your Doctor

Given the ADA’s latest guideline updates, having ready-to-use glucagon is no longer just a suggestion, but an essential tool for patients on insulin or at high risk for low blood sugar. You deserve to feel equipped, supported, and empowered in your diabetes management by having a safety net for when you need it most.

Talk to your doctor today about risk factors for very low blood sugar and including Gvoke HypoPen® in your diabetes toolkit to align with the latest guidance!


US-GVK-24-00005 02/24

*In two clinical studies in adults, blood sugar levels that were less than 50 mg/dL increased to above 70 mg/dL or increased by at least 20 mg/dL within 13.8 minutes on average.


  1. American Diabetes Association Professional Practice Committee. 6. Glycemic Goals and Hypoglycemia: Standards of Care in Diabetes—2024. Diabetes Care. 2024; 47 (Suppl 1): S111–S125.
  2. Valentine V, Newswanger B, Prestrelski S, Andre AD, Garibaldi M. Human factors usability and validation studies of a glucagon autoinjector in a simulated severe hypoglycemia rescue situation. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2019;21(9):522-530.
  3. Gvoke [prescribing information]. Chicago, IL: Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  4. Gvoke HypoPen [instructions for use]. Chicago, IL: Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  5. McCall AL, Lieb DC, Gianchandani R, et al. Management of individuals with diabetes at high risk for hypoglycemia: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2023;108(3):529-562.doi:10.1210/clinem/dgac596.
Indication and Important Safety Information⁠—⁠Read More


GVOKE is a prescription medicine used to treat very low blood sugar (severe hypoglycemia) in adults and kids with diabetes ages 2 years and above. It is not known if GVOKE is safe and effective in children under 2 years of age.


Do not use GVOKE if:

  • you have a tumor in the gland on top of your kidneys (adrenal gland), called a pheochromocytoma.
  • you have a tumor in your pancreas called an insulinoma.
  • you are allergic to glucagon or any other inactive ingredient in GVOKE.


High blood pressure
GVOKE can cause high blood pressure in certain people with tumors in their adrenal glands.

Low blood sugar
GVOKE can cause low blood sugar in certain people with tumors in their pancreas called insulinomas by making too much insulin in their bodies.

Serious allergic reaction
Call your doctor or get medical help right away if you have a serious allergic reaction including:

  • rash
  • difficulty breathing
  • low blood pressure


The most common side effects of GVOKE in adults include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • swelling at the injection site
  • headache

The most common side effects of GVOKE in children include:

  • nausea
  • low blood sugar
  • high blood sugar
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • headache
  • pain or redness at the injection site
  • itching

These are not all the possible side effects of GVOKE. For more information, ask your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You are encouraged to report side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


Before using GVOKE, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have adrenal gland problems
  • have a tumor in your pancreas
  • have not had food or water for a long time (prolonged fasting or starvation)
  • have low blood sugar that does not go away (chronic hypoglycemia)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.


  • Read the detailed Instructions for Use that come with GVOKE.
  • Use GVOKE exactly how your healthcare provider tells you to use it
  • Make sure your relatives, close friends, and caregivers know where you store GVOKE and how to use it the right way before you need their help.
  • Act quickly. Having very low blood sugar for a period of time may be harmful.
  • Your healthcare provider will tell you how and when to use GVOKE.
  • After giving GVOKE, your caregiver should call for emergency medical help right away.
  • If you do not respond after 15 minutes, your caregiver may give you another dose, if available. Tell your healthcare provider each time you use GVOKE. Low blood sugar may happen again after receiving an injection of GVOKE. Your diabetes medicine may need to be changed.


  • Keep GVOKE in the foil pouch until you are ready to use it.
  • Store GVOKE at temperatures between 68°F and 77°F.
  • Do not keep it in the refrigerator or let it freeze.

Keep GVOKE and all medicines out of the reach of children.

For more information, call 1-877-937-4737 or go to

Please see the Full Prescribing Information for Gvoke