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Tanzeum

Generic Name: albiglutide (AL bi GLOO tide)
Brand Names: Tanzeum

Medically reviewed on Feb 15, 2018

What is Tanzeum?

See also: Basaglar

Tanzeum (albiglutide) is an injectable diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels.

Tanzeum is used together with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is usually given after other diabetes medications have been tried without success.

Tanzeum is not for treating type 1 diabetes.

Important information

You should not use Tanzeum if you have Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2), or a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (a type of thyroid cancer). Do not use Tanzeum if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).

In animal studies, Tanzeum caused thyroid tumors or thyroid cancer. It is not known whether these effects would occur in people using regular doses. Ask your doctor about your risk.

Call your doctor at once if you have signs of a thyroid tumor, such as swelling or a lump in your neck, trouble swallowing, a hoarse voice, or shortness of breath.

Before using this medicine

You should not use Tanzeum if you are allergic to albiglutide, or if you have:

  • an endocrine system cancer called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2);

  • a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (a type of thyroid cancer); or

  • diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).

To make sure Tanzeum is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • pancreatitis;

  • stomach disorder such as slowed digestion;

  • an intestinal disorder;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • if you also use insulin or oral diabetes medicine; or

  • if you have been sick with vomiting or diarrhea.

In animal studies, Tanzeum caused thyroid tumors or thyroid cancer. It is not known whether these effects would occur in people using regular doses. Ask your doctor about your risk.

Albiglutide may harm an unborn baby, even if you stopped using the medicine up to 1 month before getting pregnant. If you plan to get pregnant, ask your doctor for a safer medicine to use before and during pregnancy.

You should not breast-feed while using Tanzeum.

Tanzeum is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old

How should I use Tanzeum?

Use Tanzeum exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Tanzeum is injected under the skin. A healthcare provider will teach you how to properly use this medicine by yourself. Read and carefully follow any instruction sheet provided with your medicine. Do not use this medicine if you do not understand the instructions for proper use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

You may use Tanzeum with or without food.

Drink plenty of liquids to keep your kidneys working properly.

Prepare your injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not use if the medicine has changed colors, or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

The prefilled injection pen contains a powder and a liquid that must be mixed before using the pen. Each different pen strength has a certain "wait" time to allow the powder to completely dissolve after mixing: 15 minutes for a 30-mg pen and 30 minutes for a 50-mg pen.

Your care provider will show you the best places on your body to inject Tanzeum. Use a different place each time you give an injection. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.

If you also use insulin, inject it separately from Tanzeum.

Call your doctor if you have ongoing vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual. You can easily become dehydrated while using Tanzeum. This can lead to kidney failure.

Never share an injection pen with another person. Sharing injection pens or cartridges can allow disease such as hepatitis or HIV to pass from one person to another.

Use an injection pen only once and then place it in a puncture-proof "sharps" container. Follow state or local laws about how to dispose of this container. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can happen to everyone who has diabetes. Symptoms include headache, hunger, sweating, irritability, dizziness, nausea, fast heart rate, and feeling anxious or shaky. To quickly treat low blood sugar, always keep a fast-acting source of sugar with you such as fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, or non-diet soda.

Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon emergency injection kit to use in case you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink. Be sure your family and close friends know how to give you this injection in an emergency.

Blood sugar levels can be affected by stress, illness, surgery, exercise, alcohol use, or skipping meals. Ask your doctor before changing your dose or medication schedule.

Storing unopened injection pens: Keep the pens in the carton and store in a refrigerator. Throw away any pens not used before the expiration date.

You may also store injection pens at room temperature, away from moisture and heat, for up to 4 weeks before use.

Do not freeze Tanzeum, and throw away the medication if it has become frozen.

Tanzeum dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Diabetes Type 2:

Initial dose: 30 mg subcutaneously once a week, on the same day each week

May be increased to 50 mg subcutaneously once a week if glycemic response is inadequate.

Comments: The day of weekly administration may be changed if necessary as long as the last dose was administered 4 or more days before.

Use: Adjunct therapy to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if you are more than 3 days late for the dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe nausea and vomiting.

What should I avoid while using Tanzeum?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Tanzeum side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of an allergic reaction to Tanzeum: hives, fast heartbeat, feeling light-headed, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • symptoms of pancreatitis - severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;

  • signs of a thyroid tumor - swelling or a lump in your neck, trouble swallowing, a hoarse voice, or if you feel short of breath;

  • low blood sugar - headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, confusion, irritability, dizziness, fast heart rate, or feeling jittery; or

  • kidney problems - little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath.

Common Tanzeum side effects may include:

  • nausea, diarrhea;

  • cough, cold or flu symptoms;

  • back pain, joint pain; or

  • pain, swelling, or irritation where medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Tanzeum?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Other drugs may interact with albiglutide, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this Tanzeum only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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