Why Trulicity Could Be A Truly Dreadful Diabetes Drug

| November 27, 2014 | Comments (34)

This is certainly turning out to be a bumper year for new diabetes drugs, which seem to be getting approved at an unprecedented rate.  The latest one is called Trulicity, a once-a-week injection from Eli Lilly and Co, which has been fast-tracked onto both the American and European markets, despite serious concerns over its safety.

Trulicity sounds like a character from a Julie Andrews musical and your brain will unconsciously associate the name with truth, simplicity and felicity (happiness). But a spoonful of sugar won’t make this very nasty medicine go down. It comes with an FDA ‘black box’ warning about its risks of medullary thyroid cancer and other thyroid tumours, while very similar drugs have previously been linked with acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

Trulicity’s generic name is dulaglutide and it belongs to a class of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists that already includes exenatide (Byetta), liraglutide (Victoza) and albiglutide (Tanzeum). Also known as ‘incretin mimics’ – synthetic versions of a natural body chemical that inhibits the release of glucose from your liver into your blood stream – they work in the same way as another closely-related group of drugs called DPP-4 inhibitors.

All of these drugs have a history of adverse side effects and serious health risks. As I wrote here, people taking Byetta or the DPP-4 inhibitor sitagliptin (Januvia) are twice as likely as those taking other kinds of diabetes medication to find themselves in hospital with acute pancreatitis, a condition that can lead to deadly pancreatic cancer. Tanzeum comes with warnings of thyroid C-cell tumours, acute pancreatitis and kidney damage, while Victoza also carries a warning of pancreatitis and has been associated with an increased risk of thyroid tumours.

Trulicity itself already has that black box warning in the USA for thyroid cancer. Because it was approved on the basis of just five small clinical trials (less than is usual for this kind of drug), the FDA has required the manufacturer to carry out a further five ‘post-marketing studies’, including an assessment of cardiovascular risks in people with type 2 diabetes. In the EU a so-called ‘pharmacovigilance plan’ will be implemented to educate doctors about the serious risks associated with Trulicity and to monitor reported side effects. So in fact the real safety testing is only just about to start.

Why, you may ask, is this potentially dangerous drug being rushed onto the market when there are still so many question marks over its safety? One reason could be the growing number of lawsuits being filed in the US against the makers of the very similar drugs Byetta, Victoza and Januvia, which are likely to start going to trial next year. Perhaps Eli Lilly and Co hopes to benefit from adverse judgements against its competitors, or perhaps it just wants to rake in its share of the profits before this whole class of medications is recognised as being highly unsafe.

Aside from the serious risks mentioned above, common adverse events reported during the clinical trials of Trulicity were nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and suppressed appetite. One has to admire the inventiveness of the Eli Lilly PR people in putting a positive spin on these unpleasant side effects – aiding weight loss is one of the highlighted benefits of the drug!

A natural and risk-free alternative

So, if your doctor offers you the convenience of a simple weekly injection of Trulicity, my advice is not to touch it with a bargepole. The same goes for any of the other similar drugs I have mentioned here. But there is one very safe and effective GLP-1 agonist available, even if your doctor won’t be able to prescribe it for you – it’s called berberine. A recent study showed that one of berberine’s modes of action against diabetes (and it appears to have several) is identical to that of drugs like Trulicity.1

As I explained here, berberine, which is a natural plant chemical found in a few specific herbs, could control your blood sugar as effectively as diabetes drugs. Instead of the unwanted or dangerous side effects associated with synthetic GLP-1 agonists, it also comes with the added benefits of reducing blood pressure, lowering LDL cholesterol levels and inhibiting both inflammation and fat storage.

Unfortunately, Trulicity won’t be the last ‘wonder’ drug for diabetes that we hear about. On the basis of animal study results, scientists believe that the current blood pressure medication verapamil may have the potential to reverse type 1 diabetes and are planning a clinical trial to assess its effects in human subjects. I’ll tell you more about this in my next blog post.

Wishing you the best of health,

Martin Hum
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

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Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone’s personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.

Reference

1. Zhang Q, Xiao X1, Li M, Li W, Yu M, Zhang H, Ping F, Wang Z, Zheng J. Berberine moderates glucose metabolism through the GnRH-GLP-1 and MAPK pathways in the intestine. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014; 14:188.

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Comments (34)

Testimonials are based on the personal experience of individuals. Results are not typical and the potential benefits of taking any drug or supplement may vary depending on your individual needs and health requirements. Please consult your GP before making any changes to your medical regimen.

  1. Anna Colevas says:

    Was on 500 twice a day. Lost 25 lbs You need to diet and be a little active. Just walking is ok. No side effects but indigestion so I had to watch what I ate. Because I lost weight my a1c went down and then got off of it. Would not go on it again especially after reading reviews, which I am glad I didn’t read before I took it. Just went by what my doctor said . Really trusting , but not everyone has a bad experience. Mine was good. Good luck to all of you. My advice would be to only use the smallest dose of any drug at first.

  2. Sophia says:

    At first my aic was 10.8 but after three mths it went down to 5.4 my doctor started me on 2000mg of metformin plus 25 units of insulin. I stop myself off the insulin. Went back to her my numbers were great she said she was impressed with my numbers but then she started me on trulicity along with the metformin still 2000mg.I started to lack energy appitetie everything in the books go back to her she said that I should take 1000mg of metformin along with the trulicity.had yo end up going to another doctor he stop me immediately off the metformin had me to some blood work now my creatine is very high, but seeing these comments I sm taking myself off the trulicity until I see my doctor next week.

  3. Ron says:

    I have just started taking Trulicity on Sat. 01/14/2017 and feel pretty good so far. Struggled with diarrhea on Metformin and Victoza just stopped working after a year or so.

    Only time will tell so I will post an update in 3 months or sooner if needed.

    • Linda says:

      I took my second Trulicity dose today. I’ve not had any of the stomach problems so far and for the first time, I’m seeing real change in my numbers. Doctor also switched me from Levemir to Tresiba and I am impressed with the changes. So far so good!

  4. Shane Miller says:

    Took one shot in July Doctor prescribed it for a weekly dosage. Went to pharmacy to fill prescription found out insurance did not cover cost. I asked how much out of pocket it’s $700 DOLLARS PER MONTH. So I didn’t take it can’t afford it. So I just did followup with the Doctor. My A1C was over 13 in July it’s now at 9.6 I stayed with my original medication Inokavonamet. Doctor increased the dosage on that med too. He assumed I was taking the Trulicity when he saw the A1C results. He was quite giddy and happy with my progress. When I told him I was not taking the Trulicity at all his demeanor became quite angry and aggressive. He said that he prescribed this medicine Trulicity specifically for my “needs”. I suspect that Trulicity is providing big kickbacks to doctors who prescribed this to their patients. Doctors now are so quick to whip out their prescription pad instead of giving dietary, natural, or exercise advice. Corrupt doctors care more about getting their pockets full from big pharms.

  5. Dee says:

    I switched from Bydurean because of the stomach problems it was causing. With Trulicity I had a severe headache on day a week, every week I was on the med. Worse than any migraine I’ve ever had, complete with uncontrolled vomiting. I had never had a headache so bad before and have not had one since stopping it. I still have a months worth of meds and have been to scared of it to take it. I’d loose my job if I had to be out 1 day a week due to a side effect. This is crazy!

  6. Pauline Saiz says:

    Stated Trulicity on Friday and the next day (Saturday) woke up with a very upset stomach so far for three days I have only eaten Applesauce, noodle soup, water and tea not vomiting but the worst nausea I have ever had in my life. I have only taken one shot and am really thinking I am done with this drug. I have had diabetes for 26 years and have taken insulin all my life this is the first time trying something new but I think I was better off with insulin daily than this stuff. Not to mention a months supply is 400.00 a month. I feel like we are all Guinea Piggs for this drugs…so disappointed with my doctor now I know she is not caring about my health if she knows how the side effects can really hurt us and still be prescribing it.

  7. Yana says:

    It beats me why people are so fast to take all these drugs when there is an Alternative to everything they dish out. Look up the results people get taking Berberine and even Cordyceps for Diabetes. Do the research online and see what you think. Doesn’t hurt to try and anything is better than the pharmaceuticals which are not meant to heal anyone. If they heal you then they are out of business!! Its all about money, not saving your life.

    I am borderline and my Endocrinologist knows I do not take the drugs! I look for alternatives and she suggested 2/400 mg Chromium and 2/1,000 mg of Cinnamon everyday. Then I did the research and have found excellent results using Berberine and now Cordyceps. The latter is also an excellent for cancer patients. Cordyceps have healing powers and they are no starting to use them for their true purpose.

    My husbands cancer doctor urged him to strengthen his immune system with Vitamins and Supplements and I found one that actually has Cordyceps in it….Alive Max 3. Now there’s something to write home about!!

  8. MiMi says:

    What about turmeric?

  9. MiMi says:

    I’ve taken my first shot on Saturday 10.1.16. The expected diarrhea but fine for the rest of the weekend until Tuesday. Ate breakfast and everything was all good. Are lunch and knew I wouldn’t be able to 31st much. All healthy choices. Stated having the sulphur burps. The only other timrs I’ve experienced them is when I would get “car sick” as a kid. Always thought it was the result of stale, travel junk good. Read up and found gastroparesis but knew that my symptom could only be the result of the meds causing my good to digest much slower than normal. So made sure to drink lots of water but really didn’t want to eat. No severe pain just heaviness. Burped all day though. Finally passed this morning 10.5.16 I’ll be making sure to follow all meals with extra water and tea ginger. Please note that I am also on Janumet. Back on meds to stabilize sugar and get down to size. Still a but frightened though of the effects of the shot but Janumet has always been a good option for me in terms of side effects. Of trulicity is so bad why are doctors recommending it? When others take it are you guys flushing your system daily. Let me know if what I’m doing to maintain a healthy balance with the drug is worth it of you guys have tried similar methods.

  10. Tamika says:

    OMG!!! I’m not surprised about the comments i’m reading about this injection Trulicity. I have been having bad stomach problems since taking trulicity for about 5 months now and just realized i had to go back to the day when i first started taking it, when i got back sick on last night and looked at my symptoms i was having. I never had rashes on my legs, nor itching like crazy are stomach problems with vomiting, diarrhea and the nasty sulphur burps and more. Sad, but true i’m back on my way to the Dr. again for the same reason. This medicine is not good at all!!!!

  11. Michael Carter says:

    After taking Trulicity for 6 weeks, I lost a lot of weight (12 pounds) and blood sugar was reasonable (~112), but also had severe diarrhea, stomach cramps, muscle aches, fatigue, increased creatinine (1.39), and a decreased GFR (52). I stopped taking it 3 weeks ago, and still have some muscle aches, fatigue, cramps, and diarrhea, but not nearlyas bad. I am waiting a bit to re-run the kidney numbers which I hope are better. The weight loss has stopped, but the blood sugar numbers are even better now (~104).

    The Trulicity was NOT a good medication, at least for me. Too many side effects, and apparent renal toxicity.

    • Jhon says:

      I was in the same boat, I felt very fatigued and was thinking something else was going on – no appetite, nauseated, feeling sleepy, acid reflux, heart beat increase, anxious and all – no more words to describe. I went to my primary provider – he was thinking that I have anxiety creating all these problems. FInally, I stopped taking the medication and got my life back. Did not work for me

  12. Pam says:

    Had my first Trulicity shot yesterday. How long does it normally take for the side effects to kick in? How long do they last? I have back issues and lots of other health issues so I’m not sure which symptoms are related to the Trulicity. Have seen some very positive reviews so I want to give this med a fair chance.

    • Daniel L. Taylor Sr. says:

      Avoid taking this poison! I have been going through hell for the past year because of it. I was feeling fine when my doctor put me on Trulicity. Dr. also had me on Januvia. I should have never been put on Trulicity. Warnings for people with gird, which I have, but was under control with medication. I now have chronic fatigue and stomach pain. Felt fine before I took Trulicity.

    • Brenda says:

      My mom is 84 and is on Trulicity and doing well. She has back pain too, but it has not increased since she has been getting the weekly injection. She appears to be fine, but I am going to request a full exam of her kidneys, liver and pancreas just to be safe. What works for some does not work for all, that is the down side to medications. I trust that it will be work well for you. 10/10/2016

  13. James says:

    My father has been taking trulicity for a while for his diabetes. He lost alot of weight and has experienced every side effect including renal failure. His is now currently in the hospital with his kidneys in duress, his liver in duress, and they found out he now has prostate cancer. And this was a guy who just 8 months ago was fat but happy and healthy.

  14. Kim Cosby says:

    I was prescribed Tanzeum by my family physician.
    I was a pre-diabetic. I gave myself a shot a week for 5 week on the 5th shot the next day I felt like I had the flu and started getting a rash. I went to my family dr and he gave me a steroid shot. I never got any better in fact my legs got weaker and I could hardly walk. By the 3rd day I went to the hospital. I was admitted into the ICU with my BP at 56/47 and blood sugar at 500, my bodily functions were shutting down.
    I was in ICU for 2 days and the dr said I had medical induced lupus & my platelets were 27000. I was in the hospital a week!!

    • robin bates says:

      I’m just wondering if anybody knows if there’s a lawsuit on trulicity my boyfriend after the third day of taking it he went on to DKA he was hospitalized in ICU for 2 days in the hospital for a total of 5

  15. Paul says:

    First trulicity 2 days ago. How can something make you so ill and be good for you? Also dosent work….. Come back insulin all is forgiven.

  16. End Garner says:

    Dr. Hum – –
    What are the long term effects of Trulicity. If it was only administered for 3 months ending in February 2016, what happens now? It feels like it doesn’t want to leave the body.
    What is the antidote to remove the chemical from the body after it is lodged in body systems. Which body systems are affected and where is it stored by the body?
    After over 20 falls, no one’s body can take the punishment of head, neck and spine injuries. Falling face first caused the same damage as a whiplash car accident, so what now can be done to correct and restore health? There was teriffic weight loss and now glucose levels fluctuate wildly between high and low.
    Please reply to my email.
    Thanks and keep up the good reporting work – – –
    End

  17. Dianne Heininger says:

    I was prescribed Trulicity in early March. I took one shot each week. On April 19, 2016, I woke up with a day long, severe headache. The next day I was running errands and while driving, I blacked out momentarily while trying to park my car. Instead of braking, I put my foot on the gas, gunning the motor and ran up onto a huge rock. I did not recall this until I heard someone yelling at me to not try to backup, to just put my car in park. I did $6,000 damage to my car. I spent 5 days in the hospital. An ER nurse told me, when hearing my medication list, I was the third patient to present with an episode of syncope while on Trulicity.

  18. Angelo says:

    After taking this medication {Trulicity} I had thought I had ate something bad. It gave me diarrhea, bad Sulphur burps, bloat, indigestion. I had uncontrollable diarrhea while sleeping. Back ache, joint aches, tired weak and really bad gas. Cant trust the FDA any more. This is a medication that the FDA should take first and see for them selves what they are doing to its people. It’s all about money. safety is no longer an issue for the FDA. This stuff is poison and the FDA knows it.

  19. Ithought I had food poisoning my Doctor who specialize in diabetes had me take trulicity with Victoza threw up all night long had severe pain in my stomach and in my back end up passing out end up in the hospital enzymes way up over 2000 had to have my gallbladder removed and put on antibiotics and know food or surgery until the inflammation and infection had subsided I was in hospital for 6 days and five nights my family doctor said it was probably due to the trulicity victoza toxic combination.

  20. Bill Rosauer says:

    I have been taking Trulicity since last fall, and I became violently ill with diarrhea and vomiting in November. I thought I had a case of food poisoning. I ended up in the hospital the day before Thanksgiving with severe dehydration having passed out in my doctor’s office with low blood pressure (under 70). For weeks, I was getting sick every week and in addition to my regular doctor, went to a Gasto Enterologist. Did numerous tests, blood, etc. including a CAT scan and they found nothing. They told me they were stumped.
    I started feeling better mid-January, but I had another diarreah/vomitting incident a few weeks ago.
    Last week, I noticed the Trulicity ad on TV and listened to the side effects and I thought, that sounds just like what I had. The light bulb went off and I did a little more research and stopped taking the drug. I had experienced every adverse reaction listed. I was taking the injection on Sunday and getting sick every week on Monday or Tuesday. I spoke to my doctor and we will be doing more tests to see if I have any other ill effects from taking Trulicity. I hope not, but I’m glad I realized what was causing my “mystery illness”. How dangerous is this drug? Very scared that it has done permanent damage to me.

    • Bob says:

      Bill- It is a real pity that you had to watch a tv commercial to diagnose what should have been intuitive.

    • robin bates says:

      my boyfriend went in to DKA after the first shot took it on Wednesday went in to DKA on that Saturday, was hospitalized in an ICU for 2 days hospital for a total of 4… this drug should be banned and not be used it could kill somebody

  21. Casey says:

    Thank you for sharing this information. My father recently suffered a sudden and unexpected death and my family is convinced it is due to his recent prescription of Trulicity. Any and all information we can get our hands on at this point helps!

  22. linda angle says:

    where and how do i get berberine? do u eat it or is it a supplement like a vitamin? litarally i have never heard of it. also i was just given trulicity and i do feel a little nauseated but i have only had one injection. but the worse is the headache its unbearable! i was having a lot of lows in the morning so thats when my endo dr changed me from novalog but left me with the lantus. i am thinking of controlling my diabetes with diet and excercise. do u have any ideas for other options as i am sterring clear of the trulicity?

    • admin says:

      Thank you for your comment. Berberine is easy to find in many health food stores and also from reputable online sources.

  23. Susan says:

    If berberine acts the same way as Trulicity, how do we know it won’t have the same long term effects. Has this been tested ?

    • admin says:

      The statements made in our articles can all be backed by research and references to the research are listed at the bottom of each article. Please refer to the reference at the bottom of the article, which will answer your question: 1. Zhang Q, Xiao X1, Li M, Li W, Yu M, Zhang H, Ping F, Wang Z, Zheng J. Berberine moderates glucose metabolism through the GnRH-GLP-1 and MAPK pathways in the intestine. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014; 14:188.

  24. I was just started on Trulicity along with Glyxambi. I am on my second week and I feel absolutely horrible. I am nauseous all the time, I can’t eat or sleep, have this weird feeling on my skin where I itch like crazy, I can’t sleep, and I feel as if I spend my day in a sleep. It is at its worse right after the weekly injection of the trulicity but it seems to get worse every morning after my dose of Glyxambi.

    Now I am getting scared… my blood sugar levels are okay but with these stomach pains and awful symptoms, will they ever go away??? will I get used to it??? I did already drop some pounds but feeling like this I don’t know if it is worth it… Thanks for your time…

    Mike

    • Robin Potter says:

      Please be careful. I was placed on Victoza and was losing weight (good) plus it was affecting my levels. The dr increased the dosage and I end echo in the hospital with a severe allergic reaction. I was told to never take this again or risk death.

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Testimonials are based on the personal experience of individuals. Results are not typical and the potential benefits of taking any drug or supplement may vary depending on your individual needs and health requirements. Please consult your GP before making any changes to your medical regimen.




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