What is Trulicity (Dulaglutide) and how does it work?

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In the video, Dr Sultan explains how Trulicity (Dulaglutide) works and how to administer it.

What is Trulicity (Dulaglutide)?

Trulicity is the brand name for a molecule used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The generic name is Dulaglutide. It is a relatively new product and is a type of injectable therapy, but it is not insulin. It comes in the form of a disposable single use pen in either 0.75mg dose and 1.5mg dose, making it relatively safe and easy to administer.

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Video Transcript

Trulicity (also known as Dulaglutide) is a treatment for people with Type 2 diabetes. This video explains how Trulicity (Dulaglutide) works, what the side effects are and how to administer it.

Today, I'm going to talk about Dulaglutide or Trulicity and specifically I want to show you how to use this pen so you can administer it safely and easily. So this is a new product used widely around the world and it contains a compound called dulaglutide and dulaglutide is essentially a naturally occurring human chemical called GLP-1 or Glucagon-like peptide 1. GLP-1s are in essence chemicals that the body produces in response to food.

It does 3 things, if you eat, it increases insulin production out of the pancreas, which helps lower your blood sugar after eating.

It also interestingly reduces the amount of sugar that the liver is producing. Typically the liver produces sugar, and it does this when you are in periods of starvation. So if you like, it is a storage mechanism that can release sugar when your blood sugars are low and then suck it up when your blood sugars are high. In people with Type 2 diabetes, that process is completely impaired and the liver just produces too much sugar. The third action, which I think is also critical, is it causes a person to feel full. In other words, it increases satiety. So after eating, what you want to do is increase your insulin reduce the liver sugar and feel full.

All of those 3 things are done by GLP-1 and this is a version of GLP-1. One of the clever things about re-packaging GLP-1 and changing slightly the way the molecule is and binding it up to, in this case, an antibody, is that you can change the duration of action.

Trulicity is given once a week. So in order to do it effectively, you choose a day, let's say it is Sunday, something you can remember. You want to put something in your phone so that you get a reminder each week and you don't forget. You administer it once a week, and that's done. Pretty simple.

Now let's just look a little bit about how to administer it. On the end of this is a cap, and you would remove the cap. And the needle actually is there but you won't see it because it is hidden within the device, which is quite clever. The other couple of things to say is that there is a lock which is a red triangle and an open and that is so you don't fire the product accidentally when you don't mean to.

So we might look at that in more detail. This is a dummy device, but it does highlight exactly how it gets used. So essentially you take off the cap, you put it against your skin, you move to the unlock position, and press the button. And you know when it's done when you hear the second click. Which will happen any second now. There it is. That is safely and easily disposed of in the bins in the normal way.

But beyond that simple, easy and likely to achieve for a lot of people pretty good sugar control with a bit of weight loss.

Dr Sultan