Trulicity (Dulaglutide)Trulicity (dulaglutide) is a medication used to manage type 2 diabetes. It belongs to a class of drugs known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists. These drugs mimic the action of the natural hormone GLP-1, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels by enhancing insulin secretion, slowing gastric emptying, and reducing glucagon release.

Trulicity is a biological medication, meaning it is derived from living cells and designed to work with your body’s natural processes. It is administered as a liquid solution in prefilled, disposable pens, making it convenient and easy to use.

In this article, you will learn detailed information on Trulicity dosage for managing type 2 diabetes, including available dosages, administration methods, and important guidelines for adults and children. Additionally, you will learn when and how to consider adjusting the dosage for effective management.

Key Takeaways

  • Trulicity pens offer various doses, including 0.75 mg, 1.5 mg, 3 mg, and 4.5 mg, allowing for personalized treatment plans.
  • The standard starting dose for adults is 0.75 mg once a week, with the possibility to increase to 1.5 mg based on the body’s response.
  • For weight loss, doses can range from 0.75 mg to 4.5 mg weekly, depending on individual tolerance and effectiveness.
  • Dosage adjustments should be made based on the body’s response; some may need higher doses for better results.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible if there are at least three days until your next scheduled dose; otherwise, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule.
  • Always follow the provided dosage guidelines and instructions for administration to ensure the best outcomes from Trulicity.

Trulicity Doses Per Pen

Trulicity pens are designed for single use and come prefilled with a specific amount of medication to ensure accurate dosing. Each pen is intended to deliver a precise dose of the medication in one injection, making it easy and convenient for patients to administer their treatment.

Each Trulicity pen is available in one of the following strengths and contains the corresponding dose of dulaglutide:

  • 0.75 mg Pen: Contains 0.75 mg of dulaglutide in 0.5 mL of solution.
  • 1.5 mg Pen: Contains 1.5 mg of dulaglutide in 0.5 mL of solution.
  • 3 mg Pen: Contains 3 mg of dulaglutide in 0.5 mL of solution.
  • 4.5 mg Pen: Contains 4.5 mg of dulaglutide in 0.5 mL of solution.

Trulicity Pens

Trulicity Dosage Chart and Administration

Trulicity Dosage Chart

Patient TypeStarting DosePossible Adjustments
Adults0.75 mg once weeklyIncrease to 1.5 mg once weekly if needed
Adults (higher needs)1.5 mg once weeklyIncrease to 3 mg or 4.5 mg once weekly if necessary
Children (10 and older)0.75 mg once weeklyAdjust based on efficacy and tolerance

Trulicity is administered through prefilled, disposable pens. These pens are designed for ease of use, ensuring patients can self-administer the medication at home. The pen is used once a week, on the same day each week, with or without meals. To use the pen, patients simply attach a new needle, prime the pen by turning the dial to the correct dosage, and inject the medication into their thigh, abdomen, or upper arm.

Trulicity Dosage Guidelines

Adult Dosage

For adults starting Trulicity, the recommended initial dose is 0.75 mg once weekly. After assessing the patient’s response and tolerance, the dose can be increased to 1.5 mg once weekly if necessary. If additional glycemic control is required, further increases to 3 mg and ultimately to 4.5 mg once weekly may be considered, with each increase spaced at least 4 weeks apart.

Pediatric Dosage

Trulicity is also indicated for children aged 10 and older with type 2 diabetes. The starting dosage for pediatric patients is generally 0.75 mg once weekly. Adjustments may be made based on how well the child responds to the treatment and their tolerance to the medication. As with adults, it is important to regularly monitor blood sugar levels and any adverse reactions to ensure the medication is safe and effective for the child.

When to Increase Trulicity Dose

Increasing the dose of Trulicity may be necessary when patients do not achieve adequate blood sugar control with their current dosage. Here are some guidelines to consider:

  • Signs of Inadequate Blood Sugar Control: If patients experience persistently high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), such as fasting blood sugar levels above the target range or high levels of HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin), it may indicate that the current dosage is insufficient. Symptoms of high blood sugar include increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, and blurred vision.
  • Recommendations from a Doctor: Dosage adjustments should always be made under the guidance of a doctor. Typically, doctors will monitor a patient’s blood sugar levels and HbA1c over time and recommend dosage increases if the current regimen does not achieve the desired glycemic control. Doctors may suggest increasing the dose if there is minimal or no improvement in blood sugar levels after at least 4 weeks on the current dosage.
  • Patient Factors: Doctors also consider individual patient factors, such as the patient’s response to the medication and side effects. For instance, patients who experience significant side effects at a higher dose may need to remain on a lower dose, even if it provides less glycemic control.

Trulicity Dosage for Weight Loss

Trulicity is not FDA-approved for weight loss, but it can cause weight loss as a side effect, particularly at higher dosages.  This occurs due to several mechanisms:

  • Appetite Suppression: Trulicity helps to regulate appetite by acting on GLP-1 receptors in the brain.
  • Slowed Gastric Emptying: It slows the rate at which the stomach empties, leading to prolonged feelings of fullness.
  • Improved Glycemic Control: Better control of blood sugar levels can also contribute to weight loss.

Typical Dosages for Weight Loss

The dosages used for weight loss are generally the same as those used for diabetes management, as no specific weight loss dosage has been established. However, the effects on weight are often dose-dependent, meaning higher doses may result in greater weight loss. The typical dosages include:

  • Starting Dose: 0.75 mg once weekly.
  • Maintenance Dose: Depending on tolerance and response, the dosage can be increased to 1.5 mg once weekly. If additional weight loss benefits are desired and the patient tolerates the medication well, the dose can be further increased to:
  • 3 mg once weekly
  • 4.5 mg once weekly (maximum dose)

The following table shows the average weight loss at each dose of Trulicity:

Trulicity DosageAverage Weight Loss
1.5 mg6.6 lbs
3.0 mg8.4 lbs
4.5 mg10.1 lbs

Higher dosages of Trulicity have been shown to result in greater weight loss. For example, the 3.0 mg dose reduced A1C by 1.7 percentage points and led to an average weight loss of 8.8 pounds, while the 4.5 mg dose reduced A1C by 1.9 percentage points, leading to an average weight loss of 10.4 pounds.

Managing Missed Doses

If you miss a dose of Trulicity, it’s important to take it as soon as you remember, provided it is within three days (72 hours) of the missed dose. If more than three days have passed, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule with the next dose. Do not take two doses of Trulicity within three days of each other to make up for a missed dose, as this can increase the risk of side effects.

When altering your dosing schedule due to a missed dose, follow these steps to ensure you do so safely:

Within Three Days (72 hours): If you remember within three days of missing your dose, take the missed dose as soon as possible. Continue with your next dose on the usual scheduled day. This may mean taking two doses in one week, but they should be at least three days apart.

More Than Three Days: If it has been more than three days since your missed dose, skip the missed dose. Resume your regular dosing schedule with the next dose. Do not double up doses to compensate for the missed one.

Avoid Frequent Changes: Stick to your regular dosing schedule as closely as possible. Frequent changes or missed doses can affect how well Trulicity manages your blood sugar levels.

Recommendation

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Wrap-Up

Trulicity comes in various doses per pen, tailored to fit individual needs. The standard adult dosage starts at 0.75 mg once weekly and may increase to 1.5 mg if needed. For weight loss, a typical dose ranges from 0.75 mg to 4.5 mg weekly, depending on the response and tolerance. Always follow the provided dosage guidelines and instructions for administration, and manage any missed doses as directed.

FAQs About Trulicity Dosage

How long does a Trulicity pen last?

Each Trulicity pen is for single use and delivers one dose.

What should I do in case of a Trulicity overdose?

If you suspect an overdose of Trulicity, contact your doctor or local poison control center right away.

Can Trulicity be used along with other diabetes medications?

Yes, Trulicity can be used in combination with other diabetes medications, but it’s important to monitor for signs of hypoglycemia if used with insulin or sulfonylureas.

How should I store Trulicity pens?

Trulicity pens should be stored in the refrigerator and protected from light. They can also be kept at room temperature for up to 14 days.

Can children use Trulicity?

Yes, Trulicity can be prescribed for children aged 10 years and older to help manage their type 2 diabetes.

What is the highest dosage of Trulicity available?

The highest dosage of Trulicity available is 4.5 mg once per week.

Can my Trulicity dose be increased?

Yes, your doctor may increase your dose to 1.5 mg, 3 mg, or a maximum of 4.5 mg once per week if needed to control your blood sugar.

Can I change the day I take Trulicity?

Yes, but make sure there are at least 72 hours between doses.

Can Trulicity help with heart problems?

Yes, Trulicity is used to lower the risk of major heart problems in adults with type 2 diabetes who have heart disease or are at risk for heart disease.

Can I reuse Trulicity pens?

No, each Trulicity pen is for single use only. Use a new pen for each dose.

Sources

Eli Lilly and Company. (2020). TRULICITY (dulaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2020/125469s036lbl.pdf

Garza, M. (2020, September 8). FDA Approves Higher Doses of Trulicity To Help People with Type 2 Diabetes. DiaTribe. https://diatribe.org/diabetes-medications/fda-approves-higher-doses-trulicity-help-people-type-2-diabetes