side effects of trulicity

Understanding the Side Effects of Trulicity

In this article, we will provide information about the side effects of Trulicity, how it can be managed and what foods to avoid when you consume Trulicity.

What is Trulicity?

Trulicity is the trade name for a drug called dulaglutide. It’s used as a treatment for type 2 diabetes along with regular exercise and a healthy diet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of dulaglutide to only be sold as Trulicity. There are no generic forms of this particular medication.

The generic for Trulicity is dulaglutide and it is a GLP-1 receptor that is known to work with diet and exercise to improve how the body absorbs and uses glucose in adults with diabetes.

Trulicity comes as a single-use, prefilled disposable pen. It is administered through a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection. Most often, patients give themselves their injections. If you’re uncertain how to successfully administer a shot, talk with your physician or pharmacist to learn how.

Trulicity Mechanism of Action

Trulicity contains an active substance called dulaglutide. This glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) is activated to release glucose-dependent insulin. It also lowers the body’s overall glucose secretions and reduces the glucose concentrations in type 2 diabetes.

Studies show that Trulicity can improve low blood sugar for adults with diabetes. Researchers measure the patients’ hemoglobin A1c, the average blood sugar over the last three months. Clinical studies show that Trulicity decreased the A1c range more so than those who took alternative medications.

Ultimately, Trulicity (dulaglutide) can help create low blood sugar levels for patients with diabetes.

The Right Trulicity Dosage

Typically, patients start with an initiating dose of 0.75 mg of Trulicity once per week. The maximum Trulicity dose is double that at 1.5 mg once per week. It is crucial that patients stick to the treatment plan provided by their physicians. Doctors may change the dose from time to time to help increase the benefit of the medication. It’s not uncommon to go above 0.75 mg after your first couple of treatments.

Patients should never change their own dose without discussing it with their healthcare provider. Never take medical advice from anyone untrained in medicine, even if that person has experience with this specific treatment.

What Are the Side Effects of Trulicity?

Common Side Effects

As with any medication, there may be some side effects of Trulicity. Some of the most common reactions include the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Nausea, vomiting, and retching

If you experience any kind of allergic reaction after the use of Trulicity, contact your doctor right away.

Managing The Side Effects

Side Effects Requiring Immediate Medical Attention

There are some potential reactions that require medical attention right away. Dulaglutide, the active ingredient in Trulicity, not only helps treat type 2 diabetes. It can also cause some undesirable effects in some patients. These effects may not occur in every patient. If, however, you experience any of the following effects when taking Trulicity, contact your doctor right away.

  • Agitation
  • Change in urination
  • Chills
  • Cold sweats
  • Confusion
  • Cool, pale skin
  • Depression
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Hoarseness
  • Hostility
  • Increased hunger
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lump in the neck
  • Muscle twitching
  • Pain in the stomach, side, or abdominal pain that radiates to the back
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Reddening of the skin, especially around your ears
  • Seizures
  • Shakiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Swelling of the eyes or inside of your nose
  • Swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  • Trouble breathing
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Yellow eyes or skin

Side Effects Not Requiring Immediate Medical Attention

There may be some side effects that are noticeable but do not require immediate medical attention. These reactions may dissipate as your body gets used to the medication. Your physician may provide some advice to help prevent or reduce some of these effects.

Of course, if you experience any side effect that is extremely bothersome, concerning, or that simply won’t go away, feel free to contact your healthcare professional to explore your options.

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • Abdominal pain
  • Belching
  • Bleeding (rare)
  • Blistering (rare)
  • Burning (rare)
  • Coldness (rare)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea (most common)
  • Discoloration of the skin (rare)
  • Discomfort, upset feeling, or pain in the stomach
  • The feeling of pressure (rare)
  • A general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • General pain (rare)
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Hives (rare)
  • Infection (rare)
  • Inflammation (rare)
  • Itching (rare)
  • Lack of or loss of strength
  • Lumps (rare)
  • Numbness (rare)
  • Redness (rare)
  • Scarring (rare)
  • Soreness (rare)
  • Stinging (rare)
  • Swelling (rare)
  • Tenderness (rare)
  • Tingling (rare)
  • Ulceration (rare)
  • Warmth at the injection site (rare)

Food to Avoid with Trulicity

Patients who suffer from diabetes should focus on eating a well-balanced and healthy diet. Careful food choices and moderation are key elements of treating diabetes, regardless of which medications you take.

Whether you are taking 0.75 mg or 1.5 mg of Trulicity, there are some foods you should do your best to avoid:

  • Sweetened beverages
  • White bread, white pasta, and rice
  • Sweetened breakfast cereals
  • Flavored and sweetened yogurt or coffee drinks
  • Honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar
  • Packaged snacks
  • Dried fruit
  • Fruit juices
  • Full-fat dairy products
  • Fatty meat
  • Fried, baked, and fatty foods
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco in any form

Ultimately, anything that is high in carbs or sugar should be avoided at all costs. These types of foods impact your body’s ability to properly manage glucose. It’s also prudent to stop eating when you feel full; overeating can counter progress made by a healthy diet.

Trulicity and Other Medication

Studies consistently show that Trulicity is just as effective as other diabetes medications like Bydureon, Victoza, Januvia, and Metformin. These other drugs work in different ways towards the same end. In many cases, Trulicity’s automatic injector is easy to use and is often required less often than some of its rivals.

Trulicity may have unintended interactions with other drugs. Check with your doctor if you currently take any of the following:

  • Furosemide
  • Glimepiride
  • Glipizide
  • Hydrochlorothiazide
  • Insulin
  • Lantus
  • Levemir
  • Levothyroxine
  • Tresiba

A Better Way to Buy Trulicity

If you suffer from type 2 diabetes, you may benefit from adding Trulicity to your treatment plan. Talk with your doctor about your options and if Trulicity is a good choice for you. Purchasing pre-filled injection pens have never been easier. We ship your medication right to your door at lower prices than you’ll find nearly anywhere else.

To learn more about Trulicity or how you can save both time and money on your Trulicity prescription, contact us at PharmaServe today!

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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