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Is Trulicity a form of insulin?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Sep 26, 2023.

Official answer

  • No, Trulicity is not a form of insulin.
  • Trulicity mimics the effects of GLP-1 a naturally occurring hormone that stimulates insulin secretion.
  • Trulicity is only suitable for people with type 2 diabetes who still have functioning insulin-producing cells in their pancreas.
  • Trulicity is given by subcutaneous injection, once a week.

Trulicity (dulaglutide) is not a form of insulin. It relies on people still having some functioning beta cells – these are cells in the pancreas that produce, store, and release insulin.

Trulicity belongs to the class of medicines known as GLP-1 receptor agonists. It may also be called an incretin mimetic.

Trulicity is given by subcutaneous (under the skin) injection into your stomach, thighs, or upper arm, once a week and may be used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Trulicity may also be given to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (such as a heart attack or stroke) occurring in adults with type 2 diabetes who already have cardiovascular disease or are at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Trulicity does not work for type 1 diabetes.

How does Trulicity work?

Trulicity mimics the action of GLP-1, a naturally occurring hormone that helps to regulate blood glucose levels.

Trulicity contains 90% of the same amino acid sequence as naturally occurring GLP-1. This enables it to bind to and activate GLP-1 receptors, which stimulate insulin secretion and lower glucagon secretion when blood glucose levels are high. Activation of GLP-1 receptors also causes a slow down in stomach emptying.


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