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Generic Name:

dulaglutide, Injectable solution

TRULICITY

Trulicity

Generic Name: dulaglutide, Injectable solution

All Brands

  • TRULICITY
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for Trulicity

Injectable solution
1

Trulicity is an injectable medicine that is added to diet and exercise to help lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes.

2

Trulicity is injected under the skin (subcutaneously) in your stomach, thigh, or upper arm.

3

Trulicity is a brand-name drug. It’s not available as a generic drug.

4

The recommended starting dose of Trulicity is 0.75 mg, injected once per week.

5

The maximum recommended dose of Trulicity is 1.5 mg per week.

6

The most common side effects that occur when taking Trulicity include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, decreased appetite, and indigestion.

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 has caused thyroid cancer in rats. It isn’t known whether this drug causes thyroid tumors or thyroid cancer in humans. If you or a member of your family has ever had a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma, or if you have an endocrine condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, you can’t use this drug. Before starting this drug, you will need to be counseled on the potential risk of medullary thyroid carcinoma. You should also know the symptoms of thyroid tumors, such as:

  • a lump or swelling in your neck
  • difficulty swallowing
  • shortness of breath
  • persistent hoarseness

Swelling of the pancreas (pancreatitis)

This drug can increase your risk of pancreatitis. You should be carefully monitored for signs and symptoms of pancreatitis. Symptoms of pancreatitis can include:

  • persistent severe stomach pain that sometimes spreads to your back
  • vomiting

If you have these symptoms, stop taking this drug and call your doctor. If pancreatitis is confirmed, don’t restart this drug. Consider other diabetic medicines if you have a history of pancreatitis.

Kidney dysfunction

This drug can decrease your kidney function. If you have moderate kidney dysfunction or have had a kidney transplant, watch for symptoms of kidney dysfunction when you start taking this drug or when your doses are increased. Symptoms of kidney dysfunction include:

  • changes in urine amount, color, or frequency
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • muscle twitches
  • swelling in your feet or ankles

Stomach or intestinal disease

Don’t take this drug if you have serious stomach or intestinal disease, such as slowed emptying of your stomach caused by nerve damage (gastroparesis). This rug slows stomach emptying and can cause side effects in the stomach and intestines, which can worsen these types of conditions

What is Trulicity?

This drug is a prescription drug. It’s available as a self-injectable single-dose 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 an injectable prescription medicine that, when added to diet and exercise, can help improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 receptor agonists or incretin mimetics. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They’re often used to treat similar conditions.

More Details

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 receptor agonists or incretin mimetics. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They’re often used to treat similar conditions.

This drug helps to increase the amount of insulin and decrease the amount of glucagon your body releases. It also slows the emptying of your stomach. All of these actions together help improve your blood sugar levels.

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SECTION 2 of 4

Trulicity Side Effects

Injectable solution

More Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with Trulicity include:

  • nausea

  • diarrhea

  • vomiting

  • stomach pain

  • decreased appetite

  • indigestion

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.

  • swelling of your pancreas (pancreatitis). Symptoms can include:

    • severe pain in your stomach area that may spread to your back and won’t go away
    • vomiting
  • allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

    • hives
    • rash
    • trouble breathing
    • swelling of your lips, tongue, throat, or face
  • low blood sugar. Symptoms can include:

    • dizziness or lightheadedness
    • sweating
    • confusion or drowsiness
    • headache
    • blurred vision
    • slurred speech
    • shakiness
    • fast heartbeat
    • anxiety, irritability, or mood changes
    • hunger
    • weakness
    • feeling jittery
  • nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that won’t go away

  • kidney dysfunction. Symptoms can include:

    • changes in urine amount, color, or frequency
    • nausea and vomiting
    • fatigue
    • weakness
    • muscle twitches
    • swelling in your feet or ankles
  • development of thyroid tumor. Symptoms can include:

    • lump or swelling in your neck
    • persistent hoarseness
    • trouble swallowing
    • shortness of breath
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Blood glucose will decrease with continued treatment.

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 4

Trulicity May Interact with Other Medications

Injectable solution

Trulicity 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 Trulicity 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.

Alcohol interaction

Alcohol can affect your blood sugar level. It can increase blood sugar (hyperglycemia) by adding carbohydrates and increase your risk for developing low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Medications that might interact with this drug

Oral medications
  • birth control pills (oral contraceptives)
  • oral antibiotics

Taking Trulicity with these drugs can make these drugs not work as well. Trulicity slows down the emptying of your stomach. This can reduce the amount of these drugs that gets absorbed into your body. This can be very important with oral drugs because for them to work, a certain amount needs to be in your body.

Other diabetes drugs
  • glyburide
  • glipizide
  • repaglinide
  • nateglinide
  • insulin 

Using Trulicity with these drugs can lower your blood sugar too much, causing hypoglycemia. Your doctor may choose to lower the doses of these medicines if you start on Trulicity.

Over-the-counter decongestants
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Phenylephrine

Taking these drugs together with Trulicity may cause changes in blood glucose. It more commonly leads to loss of blood sugar control and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), but may also cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia

Depression drugs
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Phenylephrine

Taking these drugs together with Trulicity may cause changes in blood glucose. It more commonly leads to loss of blood sugar control and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), but may also cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia

Fluid retention drugs
  • thiazide diuretics (hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone)
  • loop diuretics (furosemide, bumetanide, torsemide)

Taking these drugs together with Trulicity may lead to loss of blood sugar control and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Corticosteroids
  • prednisone
  • prednisolone
  • methylprednisolone

Taking these drugs together with Trulicity may lead to loss of blood sugar control and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Antipsychotic drugs
  • chlorpromazine
  • fluphenazine
  • perphenazine
  • olanzapine
  • clozapine

Taking these drugs together with Trulicity may lead to loss of blood sugar control and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Vitamins
  • niacin

Taking this medication together with Trulicity may lead to loss of blood sugar control and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Blood pressure drugs
  • metoprolol
  • carvedilol
  • atenolol
  • propranolol
  • bisoprolol

Taking these drugs with Trulicity may lead to changes in blood sugar and will mask some symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), such as fast heart rate and shaking.

Anti-nausea drugs
  • metoclopramide

Trulicity has been shown to slow down emptying of the stomach. This effect may prevent metoclopramide from working, because it works by increasing the emptying rate.

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
People with medullary thyroid carcinoma
People with medullary thyroid carcinoma

This drug can’t be used if you or a member of your family has ever had a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma.

People with endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2
People with endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2

This drug can’t be used if you have endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2.

People with pancreatitis
People with pancreatitis

If you have pancreatitis, you can’t take this drug. This drug affects the function of your pancreas. If you have pancreatitis and take this drug, it could make your pancreatitis worse.

People with kidney disease
People with kidney disease

This drug can possibly worsen kidney function. This effect was seen most commonly in patients who had experienced nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration.

 People with stomach or intestinal disease
People with stomach or intestinal disease

This drug may cause the emptying of your stomach to slow, and it may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Don’t take this drug if you have a history of a severe gastrointestinal (GI) disease such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, GI obstruction, GI perforation, inflammatory bowel disease, or gastroparesis.

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.

If you’re pregnant, talk with your doctor about the best way to control your blood sugar while you’re pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment with this drug.

Women who are breast-feeding
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 breast-feed.

For children
For children

The safety and effectiveness of this drug haven’t been established in children younger than 18 years old.

Allergies
Allergies

If an allergic reaction occurs while using this drug, immediately stop the medicine and seek medical attention.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • itching
  • hives
  • rash
  • trouble breathing or chest tightness
  • swelling of your lips, tongue, throat, or face

Don’t use this drug if you’ve ever had a previous serious allergic reaction to this drug or any of its ingredients. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take Trulicity (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

Brand: Trulicity

Form: Single-dose prefilled pen
Strengths:
  • 0.75 mg/0.5 mL solution
  • 1.5 mg/0.5 mL solution
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • The recommended starting dose of Trulicity is 0.75 mg, injected once per week.
  • The dose may be increased to 1.5 mg, injected once per week.
  • The maximum recommended dose is 1.5 mg per week.
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

Your blood sugar level can increase. This means that your diabetes will be uncontrolled, which can lead to several long-term complications, such as nerve damage, heart disease, kidney damage, eye disease, and skin conditions.

If you skip or miss doses

If you miss doses or stop taking this drug, the amount of the drug in your body won’t be consistent and will be less effective.

If you take too much

If you use too much of this drug, you may have stomach or intestinal problems. You’ll also be at greater risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Both of these may require treatment.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you miss a dose, administer it as soon as possible if there are at least 3 days (72 hours) left before the next scheduled dose. If less than 3 days remain before the next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and administer the next dose on the regularly scheduled day.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your blood sugar level will decrease.

This drug is used for long-term treatment.

Storage this drug in the refrigerator

  • Keep this drug from 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C). Don’t use this drug beyond the expiration date.
  • If needed, each single-dose pen can be kept at room temperature, not to exceed 86°F (30°C) for a total of 14 days. Discard it after 14 days even if there is still some left in the device.
  • Don’t freeze this drug. Don’t use it if it has been frozen.
  • Protect this drug from light. Keep it in the original carton until you need to use it.
  • Discard the single-dose pen after use in a puncture-resistant container.

This prescription is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it 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 with your medication.
  • This medication needs to be refrigerated. You may need to use an insulated bag with a cold pack to maintain the temperature when traveling.
  • Don’t put this medicine in your glove compartment or leave it in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.
  • Needles are in the pen injection devices. Check for special rules about traveling with medicine and needles.

Self-management

This drug is self-injected. Your healthcare provider will instruct you on how to inject this drug. They will be with you when you administer your first injection.

This drug must be injected immediately after the dose is prepared. Use a different injection site each week when injecting in the same region. Don’t administer this drug into your veins or muscles.

For the injection you’ll need sterile alcohol wipes, and you may also need a container for used pen disposal.

How to dispose of your used pens:

  • Put your used pens in a FDA-cleared sharps disposal container right away after use.
  • Don’t throw away the pens in your household trash.
  • If you don’t have a FDA-cleared sharps disposal container, you may use a household container that is:
    • made of a heavy-duty plastic,
    • can be closed with a tight-fitting, puncture-resistant lid, without sharps being able to come out,
    • upright and stable during use
    • leak-resistant, and
    • properly labeled to warn of hazardous waste inside the container.

When your sharps disposal container is almost full, you’ll need to follow your community guidelines for the right way to dispose of your sharps disposal container. There may be state or local laws about how you should throw away used needles and pens. If you must throw the container out in the trash, label it “DO NOT RECYCLE”.

Clinical monitoring

To check if your medicine is working, your doctor will check the following:

  • blood sugar levels
  • glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels

To check if it’s safe to take or continue this drug, your doctor will check the following:

  • kidney function

Your doctor will do tests to confirm swelling of your pancreas (pancreatitis) if you have stomach pain.

Hidden costs

If you are checking your blood sugar at home, you may need to purchase the following:

  • sterile alcohol wipes
  • lancing device and lancets
  • blood glucose test strips
  • blood glucose monitor
  • container to dispose of used pens and lancets

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


Show Sources

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 July 15, 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.
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