Thanks to the advancements in the field of medicine and healthcare, many diseases are now remediable, whereby individuals receive better treatment and management options.
Diabetes is one such disease (to a degree). Over the years, significant advancements have been made in its management protocols. As a result, there has been a better understanding of the disease, and its associated complications.
In today’s day and age, there are readily available medicines that enable individuals to regulate their blood sugar levels. In this regard, Trulicity and Metformin are two very popular diabetes medicines used for treating type 2 diabetes. In some instances, they are taken together too.
Continue reading this article as we explore the various aspects of Trulicity and Metformin and assess the option of taking the two medicines together.
While metformin had been the preferred medication for type 2 diabetes for a very long time, Trulicity first surfaced in the market in 2014. It is a brand name for the generic drug medication termed dulaglutide.
Trulicity is also effective in preventing serious cardiac health issues in individuals with type 2 diabetes who are at risk of cardiovascular diseases. Usually, Trulicity is not prescribed as the first medication for type 2 diabetes. Rather it is prescribed to be taken alongside another medication for diabetes. For instance, some individuals take Trulicity and Metformin together. We will explore this option in the later section.
How Does Trulicity Work?
Earlier, we mentioned that Trulicity is a brand name for the generic medicine dulaglutide, which belongs to a medicine group termed GLP-1 receptors agonists (similar to the popular drug, Ozempic).
Clinical trials suggest that Trulicity can lower the HbA1C levels by as much as 1.5%.
The medicines belonging to this group can cause a reduction in the blood sugar levels in the body by stimulating it for increased secretion of insulin and inhibiting the liver’s glucose production capability. Trulicity thus offers a non-insulin-based injectable option for regulating the body’s blood sugar levels while reducing the risk of hypoglycemia.
However, it is important to note that Trulicity cannot be used to treat type 1 diabetes as it is not an alternative medication for insulin administration.
How do you Take Trulicity?
It is best to consult your healthcare supervisor to determine and recommend what dosage strength of Trulicity may work for you. We will be providing the standard dosage details.
Trulicity is usually administered as subcutaneous injections. The initial recommended dose is injections of 0.75mg, given twice a week. Trulicity is given through an injection pen (similar functionality as Saxenda pens) The medicine is usually available in the form of injections; however, it can also be administered through single dose pens having varying strengths, including 0.75mg, 1.5mg, 3mg, and 4.5mg per 0.5ml.
While the initial standard dose is 0.75mg, it can be increased over time for better regulation of the glycemic levels in the body. However, care must be taken while raising the dosage as it higher dose of Trulicity is associated with side effects like nausea etc.
Please note, that is the standard dosage and each patient would be issued their own dosage guide by their healthcare professional.
Trulicity Side Effects
Both Metformin and Trulicity have some possible side effects. As mentioned in the last segment, nausea is the most common occurrence as a potential side effect of Trulicity. Individuals may feel nauseous for two or three days after receiving one dose. The nausea subsides with time on its own. However, if it persists, eating smaller meals and bland foods may help keep nausea at bay.
Other side effects of Trulicity include reduced appetite, abdominal pain or discomfort, diarrhea and nausea. In addition, in some instances, the injection site may feel itchy, swell or feel painful.
Precautions of Trulicity
The medicine comes with a detailed description and warnings for use. There are certain medical conditions in the presence of which, Trulicity is not advisable. For instance, clinical studies found that Trulicity caused thyroid tumors in rats or mice. While there is no evidence if it would impact humans in the same way, it would be wise not to take the medication if you have a family history of thyroid carcinoma.
Similarly, the use of Trulicity has also been linked with pancreatitis, stomach and gastrointestinal issues and possible kidney damage.
Trulicity use also enables weight loss results in patients. However, it would be good idea to have a healthy diet when using Trulicity for weight loss benfits.
The use of both Trulicity and Metformin has been looked into for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. While there is limited data available for Trulicity’s adverse impact on the fetus during pregnancy, the potential risk is there. So, it is advised for expectant mothers to take Trulicity only when the benefits outweigh the associated risks. In any case, in all instances, guidance should be sought from a healthcare supervisor.
Metformin constitutes the first-line medication prescribed to individuals with type 2 diabetes. Studies suggest that Metformin can lower the HbA1C levels by as much as 1.5%. It effectively reduces blood glucose levels and lowers the amount of glucose that the body absorbs from the consumed food.
How Does Metformin Work?
Metformin belongs to biguanides, a group of medicines intended to lower the glucose amount absorbed from the consumed food and produced by the liver. Metformin is either used on its own to treat type 2 diabetes or in combination with other medicines, including insulin and Trulicity.
In addition, metformin also aids the body in responding better to insulin, which is responsible for regulating the sugar level in the body
How is it Administered?
Metformin is usually prescribed in the form of oral tablets that come in varying strengths of 500mg, 850mg and 1000mg.
While it is always better to talk to a healthcare professional before beginning any medication regimen, the standard metformin dose for type 2 diabetes is 500mg taken twice a day with meals. Alternatively, you can take 850mg once a day. However, the accurate dosage can only be determined by taking into account your medical history or specific symptoms.
Metformin Side Effects
Some of the common side effects that individuals using Metformin report include nausea, weakness, diarrhea, gas, heartburn, bloating, etc.
In very rare instances, Metformin may cause an allergic reaction such as swelling, difficulty in breathing, rashes or hives etc. However, these occurrences are rare/
Precautions for Metformin
If you are taking Metformin and display any signs of lactic acidosis, such as abdominal discomfort, weakness, diarrhea or erratic breathing, you should discontinue the use right away and seek medical help without any second thought, as an excessive buildup of lactic acid can be detrimental for the bodily functions. Metformin comes with a warning for the risk of lactic acidosis, so its use is not advised if you are at risk.
Moreover, if you are at risk of heart or renal failure, you should not use Metformin. It can also inflict damage to the liver and impair its function. There is not enough evidence that suggests that Metformin may be harmful to expectant or nursing mothers. However, its traces can be found in breast milk, while there is no substantial evidence that suggests its implications for the unborn fetus or a nursing baby.
Taking Trulicity and Metformin together
It is generally considered safe to take Trulicity and Metformin together for treating type 2 diabetes. In some instances, individuals may need to take the two together to reach the optimal level of blood sugar level in the body. However, their combined use is contingent on a doctor’s approval.
Your healthcare supervisor will take into account your health profile, history and medical conditions to determine if you can use Trulicity and Metformin together. If you have type 2 diabetes and are using Metformin, but are unable to regulate the blood glucose levels (despite regular dose along with exercise and diet), then incorporating Trulicity in your treatment regimen may be helpful.
For some individuals, the use of Trulicity enhances the impact of Metformin. While Metformin regulates the body’s blood sugar levels by decreasing the production of glucose, Trulicity improves insulin production in the body.
So what does it mean when we say you can take Trulicity and Metformin together? It implies that while you take Metformin twice or once daily with your meals, you can take Trulicity once a week, as is the standard administration protocol.
It is not uncommon for patients to be prescribed different diabetic medications. Some diabetics are also prescribed Ozempic and Metformin to be used together.
It is also important to keep in mind that it may have possible side effects when you take the two together. For instance, some individuals may initially experience lower blood sugar levels. However, with time the body adjusts, and the two work together harmoniously to provide optimal results.
If left untreated, diabetes can become a potentially fatal disease as the body’s incapability to produce a sufficient amount of insulin can damage the eyes or kidneys, cause strokes, cardiac health issues, and cause mortality.
However, the good news is that decades of research have provided a better understanding of the disease. Medicines like Trulicity and Metformin have positively influenced the quality of life of individuals with type 2 diabetes by providing convenient and effective treatment methods.
While the two medicines work together well to help you reach your desired blood sugar levels, it is also important to incorporate a healthy diet and exercise in your daily routine.
Moreover, to reiterate, it is necessary to consult your healthcare supervisor if you are struggling with elevated blood sugar. They will provide you with a treatment protocol suited to your history and medical conditions, if any.