Trulicity's Dosage: What to Know

Medically Reviewed By Amber R. Watson, PharmD

This drug has a boxed warning, the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

In animal studies, Trulicity increased the risk of certain thyroid cancers, including a type called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). However, animal studies don’t always predict how a medication will affect people. It’s unknown whether Trulicity also raises the risk of thyroid cancer in humans.

Due to this potential risk, doctors typically will not prescribe Trulicity if any of the following is true:
• You now have or once had MTC.
• You have a close family member who now has or once had MTC.
• You have a genetic (inherited) condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2), which can increase your risk of MTC.

Your doctor may order certain tests to check for thyroid cancer. During Trulicity treatment, they will also monitor you for symptoms of thyroid cancer. These include a hoarse voice, trouble swallowing, or a lump in your throat.

You should call your doctor right away if you think you have any symptoms of thyroid cancer. They can determine whether it’s safe for you to take Trulicity.

Trulicity: Introduction

Trulicity is a brand-name prescription medication that contains the active drug dulaglutide. It belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. Trulicity is a biologic drug, and it’s not available in a biosimilar form.*

This medication has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the following uses in adults who have type 2 diabetes:

  • to lower blood sugar levels
  • to reduce the risk of certain cardiovascular (heart) problems, such as heart attack, in those who have heart disease or are at risk of developing it

In this article, you’ll find additional information about Trulicity’s dosage, dose options, and details on how to take the drug. For a comprehensive overview of Trulicity, view this article.

* A biosimilar medication is a drug that’s similar to a brand-name biologic drug (the parent drug).

Dosage summary

For details about the drug’s dosage, see the “Trulicity: Dosage” section below. Your doctor will prescribe the dosage of Trulicity that’s right for your condition.

Finding a healthcare professional

If you’re interested in taking Trulicity, search here to find a doctor who might prescribe it.

This article describes typical recommended dosages for Trulicity. These dosages are provided by the drug’s manufacturer.

Always follow the dosage of Trulicity that your doctor prescribes.

Trulicity: Dosage

Commonly recommended dosages for Trulicity are shown below.

You should take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll recommend the dosage that’s best for your condition.

Trulicity’s form and strengths

Trulicity comes as a liquid solution inside prefilled, single-dose pens for subcutaneous injection.

Trulicity pens are available in these strengths:

  • 0.75 milligrams (mg) per 0.5 milliliters (mL) of solution (0.75 mg/0.5 mL)
  • 1.5 mg/0.5 mL
  • 3 mg/0.5 mL
  • 4.5 mg/0.5 mL

Typical recommended dosages

Usually, doctors will prescribe a low dosage of Trulicity at the start of treatment. Then, they’ll adjust the dosage over time if needed. Ultimately, your doctor will prescribe the smallest dosage of Trulicity that gives the desired effect.

Purpose Starting dose Maintenance dosage Maximum dosage (“max dose”)
lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes 0.75 mg once weekly 1.5 mg to 3 mg once weekly 4.5 mg once weekly
reduce cardiovascular risk in people with type 2 diabetes 0.75 mg once weekly 1.5 mg to 3 mg once weekly 4.5 mg once weekly

Length of treatment

Doctors typically prescribe Trulicity as a long-term treatment. You’ll likely take it long term if you and your doctor feel it’s safe and effective for your condition.

Trulicity: Common questions about dosage

Below are some common questions related to Trulicity’s dosage.

How many Trulicity doses are there per pen?

Trulicity comes as a single-dose pen. Each pen contains one dose of Trulicity.

To learn more about Trulicity pen dosage, check out the “Trulicity: Dosage” section just above. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist to learn more.

Is Trulicity used for weight loss? If so, what is the Trulicity dosage for weight loss?

Trulicity isn’t approved for use in weight loss. That said, people given the drug in clinical studies did lose several pounds on average.

If you’re interested in learning more about off-label uses for Trulicity, ask your doctor. With off-label use, a drug is used in a way other than how it’s approved. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist to learn how Trulicity may affect your weight.

What is Trulicity’s dosing schedule?

Trulicity doses are usually given once per week.

To see Trulicity’s dosing schedule, view the “Trulicity: Dosage” section above. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist to learn more.

Trulicity: Dosage considerations

Your doctor will consider several factors when prescribing the dosage of Trulicity. These factors include the severity of your condition and other medications you may take.

Recommended adjustments in dosage

If you take certain medications for diabetes, your doctor may prescribe a dosage of Trulicity lower than its recommended dosage. These medications include:

  • sulfonylureas, such as glipizide (Glucotrol XL)
  • insulins, such as insulin degludec (Tresiba)

Your doctor can tell you more about using Trulicity with other diabetes medications you may take.

Trulicity: How to use 

Trulicity comes as a liquid solution inside a prefilled pen. You’ll take it by subcutaneous injection, which you’ll give yourself at home. Your doctor, another healthcare professional, or your pharmacist will instruct you on giving Trulicity injections.

Trulicity doses may be injected under the skin of:

  • your abdomen, at least 2 inches from your belly button
  • the top, outer area of your thigh (in the fatty area)
  • the back of your upper arm (tricep area), if given by a caregiver

You should change where you inject Trulicity doses each week. Rotating the sites will help you avoid certain side effects at each injection site. For example, if you last injected Trulicity into your thigh, use your abdomen or the other thigh next.

To view videos on using the Trulicity pen and giving injections, see the drug manufacturer’s site.

Your doctor likely will recommend that you take Trulicity on the same day each week. Doing so helps maintain a consistent amount of the drug in your body. This can help Trulicity work effectively.

ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS

If you find it challenging to read the label on your prescription, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Certain pharmacies provide medication labels with large print or braille. They may also offer labels containing a scannable code that your smartphone can convert from text to speech. If your pharmacy doesn’t provide these choices, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.

If it’s difficult for you to open medication bottles, ask your pharmacist if they can dispense Trulicity in an easy-open container. They also may recommend ways to help make it easier to open the bottles.

Trulicity: Missing a dose

If you miss a dose of Trulicity, check when the next dose is due. If it’s due in 3 or more days, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it’s due in fewer than 3 days, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Do not give yourself more than one Trulicity dose at a time.

If you miss a dose, it’s not likely that you’ll notice any missed dose symptoms. View these medication reminder options to help avoid missing doses. You could also set an alarm or download a reminder app on your phone.

Trulicity: Overdose

If you take more than the recommended dosage of Trulicity, serious effects can occur. Do not use more Trulicity than your doctor prescribes. 

Symptoms of overdose

Symptoms that an overdose of Trulicity could cause include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • mild low blood sugar

What to do in case of overdose

Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much of this drug. Also, you can call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. However, if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or a local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Trulicity: What to discuss with your doctor

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist for additional information about Trulicity’s dosage. Keep in mind that the dosages presented in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Trulicity that’s right for you and your condition. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.

As with any medications you’re taking, do not change your Trulicity dosage without a recommendation from your doctor.

In addition to discussing Trulicity with your doctor, you may find the following articles helpful in learning more.

  • Overview of Trulicity. For comprehensive details on Trulicity, see this article.
  • Drug comparisons. To learn how Trulicity compares with Ozempic, read this article.
  • Information on side effects. If you’d like to know about possible side effects of Trulicity, view this article.
  • Details about type 2 diabetes. To learn more about type 2 diabetes, which Trulicity is used to treat, see this article.

Disclaimer: Healthgrades 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 another 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.

Medical Reviewer: Amber R. Watson, PharmD
Last Review Date: 2022 Sep 9
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