Advertisement

Generic Name:

albiglutide, Injectable solution

All Brands

  • Tanzeum
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for albiglutide

Injectable solution
1

Albiglutide is an injectable drug used with diet and exercise to help lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

2

The recommended starting dose is 30 mg, once per week, injected under your skin. You can take albiglutide at any time of day, with or without meals.

3

Before you start albiglutide, you should be trained by your doctor on the correct way to inject it. If you have questions or don’t understand the instructions, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

4

The most common side effects that occur with albiglutide include diarrhea, nausea, injection site reactions, cough, back pain, and cold or flu.

5

Albiglutide can cause severe low blood sugar. Your risk of severe low blood sugar may be higher if you’re taking albiglutide with other diabetes medications that can cause low blood sugar. Make sure you know the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

Thyroid cancer: This drug can cause thyroid tumors, including cancer. Tell your doctor if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer. Don’t use albiglutide if you or any of your family members have ever had a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma or if you have a condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

Allergic reaction

Don’t use this drug if you’ve ever had a severe allergic reaction to this drug or any of its components. If an allergic reaction occurs, immediately stop this drug and seek medical attention.

Swelling of your pancreas (pancreatitis)

This drug can cause pancreatitis. After starting this drug and after dosing increases, you should be carefully monitored for signs and symptoms of pancreatitis. Stop this drug immediately if you suspect you have pancreatitis. If swelling of your pancreas is confirmed, this drug can’t be restarted.

Use with other drugs that lower blood sugar levels

Other diabetes drugs that lower blood sugar can increase the risk of lowering your blood sugar too much if you take them with this drug. Use caution if you take these medicines together.

What is albiglutide?

This drug is a prescription drug. It’s available as a self-injectable prefilled pen.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you need to take it with other drugs.

Why it's used

This drug is used to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes, when used with diet and exercise.

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists.

More Details

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

This drug increases the amount of insulin released in your body and slows the emptying of your stomach. This helps control your blood sugar levels.

Advertisement
SECTION 2 of 5

albiglutide Side Effects

Injectable solution

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with albiglutide include:

  • diarrhea

  • nausea

  • reactions at your injection site

  • cough

  • back pain

  • cold or flu symptoms

If these effects are mild, they may disappear within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t disappear, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • pancreatitis. Symptoms may include:

    • severe pain in your stomach area that won’t go away
    • vomiting
    • pain from your stomach area to your back
  • low blood sugar. Symptoms may include:

    • dizziness or light-headedness
    • blurred vision
    • anxiety, irritability, or mood changes
    • sweating
    • slurred speech
    • hunger
    • confusion or drowsiness
    • shakiness
    • feeling jittery
    • headache
    • fast heart beat
    • weakness
  • serious allergic reactions. Symptoms may include:

    • itching
    • rash
    • difficulty breathing
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug causes stomach-related side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

albiglutide May Interact with Other Medications

Injectable solution

Albiglutide can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Albiglutide can slow down stomach emptying. This may affect how your body reacts to some oral medications. Tell your doctor of any oral medications you’re taking. Even though this could happen, when this drug was studied in clinical trials, it didn’t interact with oral medications.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
warning icon
People with thyroid cancer

This drug can cause thyroid tumors, including cancer. Tell your doctor if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer. Don’t use this drug if you or any of your family members have ever had a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma or if you have a condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2.

urinary system icon
People with kidney problems

This drug may worsen kidney problems, which is most often seen if you have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration when you take this medication. If you have serious kidney problems or end stage kidney disease, you shouldn’t use this drug. Use caution when starting or increasing doses of this drug if you have mild kidney problems.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

This drug is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. This drug should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

This drug stays in your body for a long time, Consider stopping this drug at least 1 month before becoming pregnant.

Women who are nursing
Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if this drug passes through breast milk.

You and your doctor should decide if you’ll take this drug or breastfeed.

Children icon
For children

Special Kid Safety:
Syringes and needles are used to inject this medicine. Don’t throw out individual needles into trashcans or recycling bins, and never flush them down the toilet. Ask your pharmacist for a needle clipper and container to throw away used needles and syringes. Your community may have a program stating how you should throw away needles and syringes. If you must throw the container into the trash, label it “Do not Recycle”.

allergen icon
Allergies

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take albiglutide (Dosage)

Injectable solution

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Type 2 diabetes
Form: Self-injectable prefilled pen
Strength: 30 mg per dose, single dose, 0.5 mL prefilled syringe and 50 mg per dose, single dose, 0.5 mL prefilled syringe
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • The usual dose is 30 mg injected under the skin of your stomach, thigh, or upper arm once per week.
  • Dosage can be increased to 50 mg, once per week, if your blood sugar level doesn’t decrease using the usual dose.
Child Dosage (ages 0–17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years old hasn’t been established.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.

If you don't take it at all

This drug is used to lower your blood sugar and treat type 2 diabetes. If you don’t take this drug, you may have complications of high blood sugar, including kidney failure, blindness, amputation, and coma.

If you skip or miss doses

If you don’t take this drug on schedule, your blood sugar levels may be inconsistent (too high or too low).

If you take too much

If you take too much this drug, your symptoms may include severe nausea, vomiting, and headache.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember if it is within 3 days of your usual injection day. If you remember more than 3 days after your usual injection day, skip this dose and continue weekly with the next injection on your usual injection day.

Never try to catch up by taking two injections at once. This could result in toxic side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

If this drug is working, your blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c will decrease.

This drug is a long-term drug treatment.

Important considerations for taking this drug
timing icon
Take this drug one time each week at any time of day
storage icon
Store this drug in the refrigerator
See Details
Prescription refillable icon
Prescription is refillable
travel icon
Travel
See Details
Self-Management icon
Self-management
See Details
Clinical Monitoring icon
Clinical monitoring
See Details
not usually stocked icon
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead
Hidden Costs Icon
Hidden costs
See Details
Prior authorization icon
Insurance
See Details

Store this drug in the refrigerator

Store it at temperatures from 36–46°F (2–7ºC). Don’t freeze this drug. Keep it away from high temperature.

Use this drug within 8 hours after you mix it.

If you’re going to use this drug soon, you can store it at room temperature for up to 4 weeks. Don’t exceed 86°F (30ºC).

Store the pens in the original carton until you use them.

Don’t use this drug past the expiration date.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines; they can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to produce your pharmacy’s preprinted label clearly identifying the medication. Keep the original pharmacy prescription labeled box when traveling.
  • Do not put this medicine in your glove compartment or leave it in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.
  • Needles need to be used to take this medicine. Check for special rules about traveling with medicine, needles, and syringes.

Self-management

Before you start taking this drug, your doctor will train you on the proper injection technique. If you have questions or don’t understand the instructions, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

For the injection you’ll need sterile alcohol wipes. You may also need a needle clipper and a container for needle disposal.

Dispose of used needles and pens in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved sharps disposal container right away after use. Don’t throw away loose needles and pens in your household trash.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor will order tests to check your:

  • blood sugar levels
  • blood sugar control over 3 months (hemoglobin A1c)
  • kidney function, if you have a history of kidney problems

Hidden costs

Besides the medicine, you’ll need to purchase sterile alcohol wipes. You may also need a needle clipper and a container for safe disposal of needles and syringes.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for this drug.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does albiglutide Cost?

Injectable solution

We've partnered with GoodRx so you can compare prices, find discounts and save up to 80% on your next prescription. Check out the low coupon prices below — no insurance required.

Compare prices and save up to 80% on your next refill!

Lowest price for albiglutide

Membership warehouse $484.89
Kroger Pharmacy $486.43
Target (CVS) $498.27
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for albiglutide on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Enter your zip code to find the best deal near you.

These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for albiglutide on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on June 28, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline 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.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement