8 Best Practices for Storing Trulicity

8 Best Practices for Storing Trulicity

Trulicity is a prescription drug used to treat the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. It may also be given to people with cardiovascular conditions. It lowers blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of a heart attack. Let’s get to know this medication and how to store Trulicity properly below.

What is Trulicity?

Trulicity is an anti-diabetes medication belonging to the drug classification glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists. It works to improve a patient’s glycemic response. It contains the active ingredient, dulaglutide which is a human GLP-1 receptor agonist.

What is the Dosing for Trulicity?

Trulicity is a colorless solution that comes in a 0.5 ml pen. The formulation goes as follows:

  • water
  • 0.75 mg or 1.5 mg of dulaglutide
  • 0.07 mg citric acid anhydrous
  • 23.2 mg mannitol (23.2 mg)
  • 0.10 mg polysorbate 80
  • 1.37 mg trisodium citrate dihydrate

The recommended starting dose of Trulicity is 0.75 mg once a week and may be increased to a maximum of 1.5 mg depending on a patient’s glycemic reaction to the drug. It is administered subcutaneously in the upper arm, thigh, or abdomen, with or without food.

Missing a Dose

Administer as soon as possible if there are at least 72 hours until the next dose. If less, skip the missed dose and proceed on the schedule as normal.

How to Store Trulicity

1. Store Trulicity Pens in the Refrigerator

The ideal temperature for unused and unopened Trulicity pens is between 2°C and 8°C or 36°F and 46°F. Never freeze the solution or use one that has been frozen. If needed, single-dose pens may be kept at room temperature (86°F or 30°C) for up to 14 days.

2. Label Pens with the Expiration Date

Do not use Trulicity beyond the expiration date. Make sure a pen and carton are labeled properly and clearly. Discard any pen that’s gone beyond the expiration date.

3. Do Not Expose a Trulicity Pen to Light or Heat

Store Trulicity pens in their original cartons to protect them from direct heat or light. This is to keep the solution contents from disintegrating. On the same note, make sure to store the pens away from a microwave oven, boiling water, or a stove.

4. Carry an Insulated Bag When Travelling

If you are traveling, remember that Trulicity should not be stored in the check-in luggage as temperatures often drop below freezing. There may also be changes in the air pressure while on the flight. Carry the pens with you in your hand luggage inside an insulated bag. Using a gel pack wrapped with a thin towel is recommended, but do not store the pens directly on it or on ice.

Important: Bring your prescription with you. You may need airport clearance when traveling with medications.

5. Handle the Trulicity Pen Carefully

Trulicity pens have glass parts. Handle them with care and make sure Trulicity is stored without being crushed. If you drop a pen on a hard surface, discard it as it may contain pieces of broken glass inside.

6. Keep Other Injection Paraphernalia Close

Wet wipes, tissue, cotton, and alcohol should be nearby. This is to help you not forget about cleaning the skin before injection.

7. Store Trulicity Pens Away from Pets and Children

As with other medications, Trulicity pens should be stored out of the reach of pets and children to avoid accidental intake or harm. Should any incident occur, head immediately to the emergency room.

8. Discard Used Trulicity Pens

Trulicity pens come in single doses only. Once used, they should be empty and must be discarded in a puncture-resistant container. Make sure that the container is labeled with “sharps” and sealed properly to keep children and pets from accidentally harming themselves.

There are FDA-approved sharps disposal containers available online or at local pharmacies. If you can’t find one, you can opt for a household container with the following features:

  • Upright and stable (flat at the bottom)
  • Made of heavy-duty plastic
  • Closes with a tight-fitting, puncture-resistant lid
  • Leak-resistant

Don’t forget to check your local community’s guidelines on the disposal of sharps and medical wastes before actually throwing away a full container.

What are the Side Effects of Trulicity?

Storing Trulicity properly will help keep the drug safe for intake but it does not do away with potential side effects. Like most drugs, it may cause mild to severe reactions in some. Here are some of them:

1. Localized Reaction at the Injection Site

When skin or muscle is punctured multiple times, it may result in:

  • Tenderness
  • Localized pain
  • Redness
  • Bruising
  • Fatty deposits
  • Rashes
  • Lumps

2. Allergic Reaction to the Drug

An allergic reaction may come out in the form of:

  • Skin flushing (warmth and redness)
  • Very fast heartbeat
  • Severe rashes
  • Swollen lips, tongue, or eyelids
  • Difficulty in breathing and/or swallowing
  • Skin itchiness
  • Dizziness

3. Weight Loss

Weight loss is a secondary result of blood sugar control and is a side effect that some patients experience from the drug.

4. Frequent Hypoglycemia

When taking Trulicity, watch out for symptoms of hypoglycemia such as:

  • Cold sweat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Frequent hunger
  • Headache
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Mood changes
  • Irritability
  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Feeling jittery
  • Slurred speech

5. Nausea and Digestion Problems

Nausea is expected to happen in the first 2-3 days after the first dose of Trulicity. There are times when diarrhea, indigestion, vomiting, severe stomach pain, decreased appetite, and fatigue also happen.

6. Thyroid Cancer

Trulicity carries a boxed warning on cancer risk-based, the most serious based on FDA standards. This means that people should not take Trulicity with a pre-existing cancer diagnosis, especially multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 and medullary thyroid carcinoma.

7. Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis manifests as pain in the abdomen that radiates to the back. It comes with fever, fast heartbeat, nausea, and vomiting.

Managing Diabetes with Trulicity

Living with diabetes is no joke but knowing how to manage your medications can help deal with the condition. But keep in mind that this post does not supersede professional advice. Should there be unwanted reactions or life-threatening incidents that occur, seek the intervention of a medical practitioner immediately? If stocking up on your Trulicity supply is your concern, skip the lines and shop online at PharmaServe!

Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS is a practicing clinical pharmacist that works in primary care. He supports other members of the healthcare team including physicians, mid-level providers, nurses, and other clinical staff. He also likes to use his drug knowledge to inform his patients and the public about the benefits and risks they can expect from their medications. His clinical specialties include: anticoagulation, diabetes management, and psychiatric care.

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