Person stepping on bathroom scale while wondering if Trulicity is a GLP-1

Is Trulicity® a GLP-1?

Written on October 30, 2023 by Lori Mulligan, MPH. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

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You may have wondered, “Is Trulicity® is a GLP-1?” Yes, Trulicity® is a GLP-1 receptor agonist drug that fights diabetes and promotes weight loss. A naturally occurring hormone, GLP-1 is produced in the small intestine. It stimulates insulin secretion, which allows cells to take up glucose. It also inhibits glucagon secretion, preventing more glucose from going into the bloodstream and lowering blood sugar levels. In addition, GLP-1s slow stomach emptying, meaning that less glucose from food is released into the bloodstream. GLP-1s also increase how full you feel after eating, which helps contribute to its weight loss benefits.[1]

How Does Trulicity® Work?

Trulicity®, whose active ingredient is dulaglutide, is a GLP-1 receptor agonist that works by mimicking naturally occurring GLP-1 to stimulate the body’s natural production of insulin. It also inhibits the release of glucagon and slows digestion. Trulicity® has been shown to aid weight loss.

Trulicity® is prescribed primarily to people who need to lower their blood glucose levels; weight loss is an added benefit.[2]

Why Did The FDA Approve Higher Doses Of Trulicity®?

In November 2022, the FDA approved two additional doses of Trulicity®. Previously approved doses for Trulicity® were 0.75 mg and 1.5 mg per week, delivered in a single-use auto-injector. While previous dose options are still available, expanded doses may help some people with type 2 diabetes. Research showed that a 4.5 mg dose reduced A1C by 1.9% and led to an average weight loss of 10.4 pounds after 36 weeks.

The FDA approved 3.0 mg and 4.5 mg doses of Trulicity®, based on results from the AWARD-11 clinical trial. The trial evaluated higher doses of Trulicity® after 36 weeks and found that:

  • The 3.0 mg dose reduced A1C by 1.7% and led to an average weight loss of 8.8 pounds.
  • The 4.5 mg dose reduced A1C by 1.9% and led to an average weight loss of 10.4 pounds.
  • The previously approved 1.5 mg dose reduced A1C by 1.5% and led to an average weight loss of 6.8 pounds.

Similar effects were also seen after 52 weeks, further confirming consistent treatment effects from taking Trulicity® at higher doses.

Given that diabetes care often requires adjustments to treatment over time, more options that reduce blood glucose levels and promote weight loss are helpful when current treatments are not enough. Plus, Trulicity® has been shown to prevent heart disease. Earlier in 2022, Trulicity® was approved by the FDA to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack for adults with type 2 diabetes and pre-existing heart disease, or adults at risk for heart disease.[3]

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What Are Some Of The Side Effects Of Dulaglutide?

The most common side effects of dulaglutide include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach, vomiting, or stomach pain

Call your healthcare provider if any of these side effects get very bad, bother you, or do not go away.

More serious side effects that require immediate medical attention include [4]:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash, hives, itching, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever, wheezing, tightness in the chest or throat, trouble breathing or swallowing, unusual hoarseness, or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or vomiting.
  • Signs of gallbladder problems like pain in the upper right belly area, right shoulder area, or between the shoulder blades, yellow skin or eyes, fever with chills, bloating, or very upset stomach or vomiting.
  • Signs of kidney problems like an inability to pass urine, a change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Signs of low blood sugar, such as dizziness, headache, feeling sleepy or weak, shaking, fast heartbeat, confusion, hunger, or sweating.

Can Pregnant Women Take Trulicity®?

Animal studies suggest a potential risk to the fetus if this medication is used during pregnancy. It has not been evaluated in breastfeeding women and therefore, is not advised at this time.[5]

Everlywell Offers Testing for HbA1c and a Comprehensive Weight Loss Program

The home-collection HbA1c test is an easy way to measure how well you have been maintaining your blood sugar levels for the past 90 days. Routine monitoring with HbA1c testing is important for individuals who have been diagnosed with prediabetes, diabetes, or gestational diabetes, as blood sugar levels can fluctuate throughout the day.

Everlywell’s online GLP-1 prescription telehealth option pairs GLP-1 prescriptions with regular clinician care, lab testing, and support for related conditions.

Specifically, Weight Care+ offers:

  • Access to GLP-1 prescriptions for qualified candidates
  • Regular 1:1 virtual visits with a licensed clinician
  • Quarterly at-home lab tests or supplements
  • Lifestyle content and support for health conditions

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  1. GLP-1 receptor agonists. diaTribe. Accessed on 10/14/2023.
  2. Trulicity® (Dulaglutide). Accessed on 1/14/2023.
  3. FDA approves higher doses of Trulicity® to help people with type 2 diabetes. diaTribe. Accessed on 10/14/2023.
  4. Dulaglutide. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 12/12/2022. Accessed on 10/14/2023.
  5. Pace E, Tingen J. Dulaglutide (Trulicity®) for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am Fam Physician. 2017 96(8): 540-542. Accessed on 10/14/2023.
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