Trulicity: New Weekly Diabetes Med Approved

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Trulicity (dulaglutide) is a new once-weekly injection approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, in combination with diet and exercise. It was approved by the FDA on September 18, 2014.

When will Trulicity be available?

According to the manufacturer, Eli Lilly and Company, the anticipated availability date for Trulicity is later this year.

What are the available forms and recommended dosages for Trulicity?
Trulicity is available in 0.75 mg and 1.5 mg single-dose pens, which are each dispensed in a carton of 4 pens. Each pen has a pre-attached, hidden needle and does not require mixing.

Trulicity is a subcutaneous injection given in the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm region. The recommended dosage of Trulicity is 0.75 mg once weekly, but it may be increased to 1.5 mg if needed.

Does Trulicity need to be injected with meals?

No. Trulicity can be injected at any time of day without regard to meals.

Can this medication be used in patients with type 1 diabetes?

No. It is only indicated for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

How should I store Trulicity once it has left the pharmacy?
Trulicity should be kept in the refrigerator at 36ºF to 46ºF. If needed, you can keep pens at room temperature no higher than 86ºF for up to 14 days.

Can I use Trulicity with other diabetes treatments?

Yes. Trulicity can be used with your other diabetes medications including certain insulin(s).

What are some side effects of Trulicity?

The most common side effects of Trulicity include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and decreased appetite.

Are there any other precautions associated with Trulicity?

Yes. Trulicity has a boxed warning regarding the possible risk of thyroid tumors as well as thyroid cancer.

Trulicity is also contraindicated in (meaning it shouldn’t be used by) patients with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2.

Medullary thyroid carcinoma accounts for 3-4% of all thyroid cancer diagnoses. Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 is the hereditary condition associated with the tumors of medullary thyroid carcinoma.

What type of medication is Trulicity?
Trulicity is in a class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists.

GLP-1 medications help increase the release of insulin from your body in the presence of elevated blood sugar levels. These medications also delay gastric emptying which means that they help you feel full longer.

Are there other similar treatment options for type 2 diabetes?

Yes. Bydureon and Tanzeum are also GLP-1 agonists and are also injected once-weekly.

Victoza and Byetta are also in the same class, however, Victoza needs to be injected daily, and Byetta twice daily.

Where can I find more information on Trulicity?

For more info, check out the manufacturer website here.

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