Trulicity (dulaglutide) is a prescription brand-name medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it for the following uses in adults with type 2 diabetes:
- to help reduce blood sugar levels
- to reduce the risk of certain cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) problems such as heart attack and stroke*
Trulicity contains the active drug dulaglutide. It belongs to a drug class called glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists. (A drug class is a group of medications that work in a similar way.)
Trulicity comes as a liquid solution in single-dose, prefilled pens. It’s given once per week as a subcutaneous injection. Your doctor or another healthcare professional will teach you to give yourself Trulicity injections at home.
Trulicity is a brand-name drug. There’s currently no generic version available.
For information about the dosage of Trulicity, including its form, strengths, and how to take the drug, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Trulicity, including details about how it’s used, see this article.
* Trulicity can be used in adults who have cardiovascular disease or are at risk for cardiovascular disease, in addition to having type 2 diabetes.
This article describes typical dosages for Trulicity provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Trulicity, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
Learn about Trulicity’s dosage, including its form and strengths.
Trulicity comes as a liquid solution inside of a pen that you’ll use to self-inject the medication. A Trulicity pen comes with a built-in needle that injects the medication subcutaneously. (You won’t need to assemble the pens or attach a needle to the pen.)
Trulicity pens are prefilled with 0.5 milliliters (mL) of solution. They’re available in four strengths, which are given as milligrams per 0.5 mL of solution (mg/mL):
- 0.75 mg/0.5 mL
- 1.5 mg/0.5 mL
- 3 mg/0.5 mL
- 4.5 mg/0.5 mL
Trulicity doses per pen
Each Trulicity pen contains one dose. For each new dose of Trulicity, you’ll use a new pen. Each box of Trulicity contains four pens.
Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor may prescribe dose increases because sometimes high doses are needed to help reduce blood sugar levels. But your doctor will ultimately prescribe the lowest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.
Dosage for decreasing blood sugar with type 2 diabetes
Trulicity is approved to reduce blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. For this use, the starting dose of Trulicity is 0.75 mg. This is taken once weekly, preferably on the same day each week.
If your blood sugar levels remain high, your dosage will be increased to 1.5 mg once weekly for 4 weeks. If needed after this time, your doctor will further increase your dosage to 3 mg once weekly for 4 weeks. And if your blood sugar levels continue to be too high, your dosage might be increased to 4.5 mg once weekly.
Blood sugar monitoring
Monitoring your blood sugar levels during your Trulicity treatment will help you and your doctor assess how well the drug is working. Your doctor may recommend a hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test around 3 months after you start Trulicity. HbA1c is a measurement of your average blood sugar levels over a 3-month period. Your doctor can give you more information about how often you may have this test while taking Trulicity.
Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for checking your blood sugar levels. And, make sure to talk with your doctor about your goal blood sugar levels and your HbA1c goal.
Dosage for decreasing cardiovascular risks with type 2 diabetes
To decrease the risk of cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) problems, Trulicity’s starting dosage and dosing schedule are the same as for decreasing blood sugar levels. See the dosing guide in the section just above for details.
Trulicity is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Trulicity is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely use it long term.
Trulicity is FDA-approved for use in adults. The safety and effectiveness of Trulicity in children younger than 18 years are unknown.
Trulicity is injected once weekly, ideally on the same day each week. If you’ve missed a dose of Trulicity, here’s what you should do next:
- If there are at least 72 hours (3 days) left before your next scheduled dose, take the missed dose as soon as possible.
- If there are fewer than 72 hours until your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose.
- Do not take more than one Trulicity dose in a 72-hour period.
For example, let’s say you inject Trulicity every Monday. On a Thursday, you realize that you forgot your dose on Monday. You should inject your dose on Thursday as soon as possible. Then, you’ll continue with your regular dosing schedule. If you realize on a Saturday that you forgot to inject your Trulicity on Monday, though, wait and take your next scheduled dose on Monday.
If you like, you can change the day of the week that you take Trulicity. Just make sure that there are at least 72 hours between your last dose and your new dose. Your doctor can help you with this.
If you’re unsure what to do about a missed dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm on your phone or downloading a reminder app. Including it on your calendar can help, too.
Get answers to some frequently asked questions about Trulicity.
Is Trulicity approved for weight loss?
Trulicity is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for weight loss. However, some people lose weight while using Trulicity, especially at higher dosages. Because of this, some doctors may prescribe Trulicity off-label for weight loss. You shouldn’t use Trulicity for this purpose without first talking with your doctor.
Some people may lose weight when they first start Trulicity due to the drug’s side effects. Some common side effects of Trulicity include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. But these side effects tend to improve with time as your body gets used to the medication.
Maintaining a weight that’s healthy for you can help with reducing blood sugar levels and your risk for cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) problems. Trulicity is approved for both of these uses in adults with type 2 diabetes.
If you have questions about Trulicity and weight loss, talk with your doctor.
How do the dosages of Trulicity and Ozempic compare?
Trulicity and Ozempic (semaglutide) are each taken once per week. The starting dosages of the drugs are slightly different, however:
- Trulicity’s starting dosage is 0.75 milligrams (mg) weekly, and the maximum dosage is 4.5 mg weekly.
- Ozempic’s starting dosage is 0.25 mg weekly, and the maximum dosage is 1 mg weekly.
Trulicity and Ozempic are both approved to reduce blood sugar levels and the risk of certain cardiovascular problems. These drugs can be used in adults with type 2 diabetes. Both drugs come as liquid solution in prefilled pens that you self-inject.
To learn more about the differences and similarities between Trulicity and Ozempic, read this article.
Trulicity comes as a pen that’s filled with liquid solution. Each pen has a built-in needle, so you won’t need to assemble the pens or attach a needle to the pen.
You should use Trulicity according to your doctor’s dosage instructions. You’ll be shown how to use the pen before your first dose.
Trulicity is given as a subcutaneous injection. It can be injected into your abdomen (belly), upper arm, or thigh. It’s best to rotate the injection site with each dose. Using the same injection site can cause hard lumps or fatty deposits to form in the area.
Trulicity is typically used once weekly. It can be taken at any time of day, with or without food.
There’s a helpful how-to-use video provided by Trulicity’s manufacturer on its website. Step-by-step instructions are also available and are included with every box of Trulicity.
If you’re still unsure how to inject Trulicity, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
With Trulicity, your doctor will start you on the lowest dosage of the drug. Then you and your doctor will discuss how well the drug is working for you. Your dosage may be increased, depending on the following factors:
- how well Trulicity works to control your blood sugar
- which other diabetes medications you take
- any side effects that you experience
Note: Taking Trulicity with certain diabetes drugs may increase your risk for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels). These drugs include Lantus (insulin glargine) and Amaryl (glimepiride). Taking these drugs may limit the dosage of Trulicity that would be safe for you to take. Your doctor can help determine whether you’re taking any of these drugs and can adjust your dosage if needed.
If you use more Trulicity than your doctor prescribes, you may develop serious side effects.
It’s important that you don’t use more Trulicity than your doctor recommends.
Symptoms of an overdose
Overdose symptoms of Trulicity can include:
- hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)
If you take more than the recommended amount of Trulicity
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Trulicity. Another option is to call the American Association of Poison Control Centers, at 800-222-1222, or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Trulicity for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.
As with any medication, never change your dosage of Trulicity without your doctor’s approval. If you have questions about the dosage of Trulicity that’s right for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Trulicity. These additional articles might be helpful to you:
- More about Trulicity. For information about other aspects of Trulicity, refer to this article.
- Drug comparison. To find out how Trulicity compares with Ozempic, read this article.
- Details on your condition. For details about type 2 diabetes, see our list of diabetes articles and our diabetes hub. To learn more about cardiovascular disease, refer to our list of cardiovascular and cardiology articles as well as our cardiovascular hub.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.