Trulicity is an FDA-approved prescription drug given to type-2 diabetes patients. It may also be prescribed to people with cardiovascular conditions. It works to lower blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of a heart attack. And like other medications, it has side effects. The question is, do they outweigh its benefits? We answer that in this post.
What Are the Side Effects of Trulicity?
1. Localized Reaction at the Injection Site
Trulicity comes as a liquid solution inside a disposable injection pen. It is given subcutaneously once a week. This route of administration is common for a lot of drugs and not much of a problem unless one site is injected on for a prolonged period of time. When skin or muscle is punctured multiple times, it may result in:
- Localized pain
- Fatty deposits
2. Allergic Reaction to the Trulicity
An allergic reaction is a hypersensitive manifestation in the body resulting from a foreign object that has penetrated the immune system. It may come out in the form of:
- An extremely fast heartbeat
- Swollen hands, feet, lips, mouth, tongue, throat, or eyelids
- Severe rashes
- Skin flushing (warmth and redness)
- Difficulty in breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Skin itchiness
3. Weight Loss or Weight Gain
Weight loss is a secondary result of blood sugar control. But with Trulicity, some gain or lose weight and others do not experience any change at all.
4. Frequent Hypoglycemia
While lowering blood glucose is the end goal of anti-diabetes medications, frequent dropping from the normal standard is not a good side effect. When taking Trulicity, watch out for symptoms of hypoglycemia such as:
- Frequent hunger
- Cold sweat
- Shaking or tremors
- Mood changes
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Feeling jittery
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. Such digestive side effects generally subside after two weeks, and rarely do diabetic or cardiovascular patients need to stop taking the drug because of them.
6. Thyroid Cancer
Trulicity carried the most serious warning on cancer risk based on FDA standards—a boxed warning for thyroid cancer, specifically T-cell tumors. This means that Trulicity should not be taken by people with a pre existing cancer diagnosis, especially thyroid cancer (multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type2 and medullary thyroid carcinoma).
Pancreatitis is a debatable side effect and contraindication for Trulicity. There are clinical trials that suggest it happened after patients were given dulaglutide, but there are also studies that do not have conclusive evidence.
That being the case, pancreatitis is listed in the drug’s package insert as an adverse reaction. Here are the symptoms to note:
- Severe abdominal pain that radiates to the back
- Rapid heart rate
- Loss of appetite
Should You Worry About These Trulicity Side Effects?
First, it is important to remember that this list is only meant to create awareness for proper immediate intervention, and does not give non-health practitioners the license to self-medicate. Professional advice and medical action should always be sought in any case of discomfort resulting from Trulicity or any drug.
Second, the abovementioned side effects can be avoided or managed, of course, with proper medical guidance. To give you an idea, here are some interventions for the side effects of Trulicity:
- Just as when getting insulin injections, rotating sites is advised to avoid overusing one. Doctors usually advise introducing Trulicity on the abdomen, arms, or thighs.
- Trulicity should never be mixed together with or injected on the same site as insulin. Allow a few inches of space in between if you’re injecting in the same area.
- Any form of allergic reaction to the drug, mild or severe, signals that you should stop taking it immediately. Go to the emergency room or call 911 right away for any life-threatening symptom.
- To avoid any reaction caused by degraded Trulicity, store new and unused pens or prefilled syringes in the refrigerator but not in the freezer as it should not be used frozen. Keep in the original box to protect it from light. Opened or used pens should be kept at room temperature so they can last for up to 14 days.
- The weight loss side effect of Trulicity may come as a benefit to patients diagnosed with obesity. But, one who is already below the normal basal metabolic index should talk to a doctor about dosage adjustment or an alternative drug.
- Since Trulicity is meant to lower blood sugar levels, timing its use with meal and snack time is important. As per manufacturer advice, it is best taken before meals, but doctors may still prescribe it with a condition-specific schedule. Discuss your dosing and intake with your physician.
- If you notice hypoglycemic symptoms after injecting Trulicity, consume a spoonful of sugar, candy, fruit juice, soft drink, or glucose tablets to fight them off. When you feel better, eat a complex carbohydrate, like bread or a sandwich, to keep you from experiencing low blood sugar again.
- The digestive side effects of Trulicity may be prevented or managed by avoiding highly seasoned, fatty, and fried foods and opting for bland foods (like high-fiber rice, crackers, and toast) instead. Eating smaller meals can also keep you from feeling nauseous.
- Any history of cancer is a contraindication for Trulicity. If you feel a lump in the neck or experience hoarseness of voice, shortness of breath, and difficulty swallowing stop the injections and inform your doctor straight away. These may indicate the presence of a tumor.
- On the same note, fever and pain on the abdominal area may indicate a pancreatic side effect. Stop taking the drug and call your physician right away.
Taking Care with Trulicity
Understanding the side effects of Trulicity and where they originate from can help ease the worry you may have about taking it. Ask your doctor about the best steps to take so you experience none or less of them. If Trulicity prescription is your concern, you can fill your stock without queueing up. PharmaServe is an online Canadian pharmacy with the updated Trulicity cost you can shop at. Visit our store today!