What is Trulicity (Dulaglutide)?

Trulicity is a diabetes prescription medication used to improve glycemic levels in adults with Type 2 Diabetes. It is used in conjunction with diet and exercise for the consistent management of blood glucose levels and for the reduction of major cardiovascular risk factors that may exist as a result of the condition.

Trulicity is a once-weekly injectable therapy that comes in the form of a disposable single-use injectable pen, available in a 0.75 mg dose and 1.5 mg dose.

Trulicity is used when an adult’s blood sugar levels cannot be properly controlled by diet and exercise alone, and metformin is not allowed for use. It may also be used when the intake of oral diabetes medications cannot produce the desired blood levels regulation.

How does Trulicity work?

Trulicity contains the drug Dulaglutide, which belongs to a class of medications known as GLP-1 Receptor Agonists. GLP-1 Receptor agonists are also called incretin mimetics for their mechanism is based on the action of one type of incretin present in the body— the GLP-1.

Incretins are hormones that are responsible for the regulation and management of our pancreatic functions, especially in the production of insulin and the distribution and usage of blood sugar.

GLP-1 is a type of incretin released by our small intestines after meals to stimulate the pancreas’ insulin production and release to regulate the existing blood glucose levels in our body. GLP-1 also manages the natural mechanism of our liver regarding glucose production by reducing the amount of glucagon our liver produces and releases. GLP-1 also induces early satiety, which aids in weight loss for it gives off the effect of feeling full after a meal causing the individual to eat less.

GLP-1 Receptor agonists such as Dulaglutide mimic the action of GLP-1 in the body.

While GLP-1 is a naturally-occurring hormone produced by the small intestine, Dulaglutide is a synthetically manufactured biologic drug that shares 90% molecular similarity with the structure of human GLP-1.

Human GLP-1 lasts for a couple of minutes, while GLP-1 receptor agonists such as Dulaglutide are structurally modified to last for days. Dulaglutide is the longest lasting GLP-1 receptor agonist.

Before taking this medicine

Trulicity is not recommended for use for children and adolescents under 18 years of age.

Trulicity is not an insulin substitute and should not be used as such.

Trulicity is not for use for an adult patient that meet any of the following:

  • Has Type 1 Diabetes
  • Is allergic to dulaglutide or any other ingredients of the medication
  • Has a family history of a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)
  • Has a history of Multiple Endorine Neoplasia Syndrome Type 2 (MEN 2).

A physician should be consulted before using Trulicity should the adult patient meet any of the following:

  • On dialysis treatment
  • Taking insulin / sulphonylurea
  • History of pancreatitis
  • Severe problems with food digestion
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis

The physician must be informed beforehand of any and all medications one is taking.

How to use Trulicity?

Trulicity comes in the form of an easy-click pen to be injected under the skin (subcutaneously)  in the stomach area (abdomen), upper leg (thigh) or upper arm.

Trulicity is best administered at the same time and the same day of the week. In cases of a missed dose, if there is less than three days before the next injection, the dose should be forfeited and injection should proceed on the next regular scheduled time and day. Otherwise, inject the missed dose as soon as possible. Trulicity should not be taken within three days of the previous injection.

Follow all instructions indicated on the instruction label or determined by the physician.

Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.