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Is Trulicity Good for Weight Loss? Benefits and Side Effects
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Is Trulicity Good for Weight Loss? Benefits and Side Effects

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on July 14, 2022
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8 min

Trulicity is an injectable prescription that some people take to lose weight. Others may frown upon this, but what are the benefits? Can it promote fat loss? We discuss the advantages of Trulicity, possible side effects, and how it may help you drop a few pounds below.

trulicity for weight loss

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A weight loss journey can look different for everyone.

High-intensity workouts or low-calorie diets are usually prioritized on a fitness journey, but that’s not always the case. Trulicity is a well-known treatment that can be combined with diet and exercise. Taking this injection once a week could be the start of your weight loss.

You might be thinking – how do injections help people lose weight? Why should I consider this option for my personal routine? It’s always best to understand new “weight loss” methods before trying them, especially shots designed to control glucose levels.

In this article, you’ll discover whether Trulicity is good for weight loss.

What Is Trulicity?

Trulicity is a medication used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It comes in the form of injections that people take once a week. One shot of Trulicity should lower blood sugar levels and prevent symptoms like hunger and irregular heartbeat.

People who suffer from type 2 diabetes often need injections to stabilize glucose production in their bodies. Trulicity is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist that can stop the release of insulin. This is a hormone created by the pancreas to control blood sugar.

You can get Trulicity prescribed by the doctor for blood sugar conditions, but it’s not often administered for weight loss. This is because it is not an approved weight loss drug. However, there’s no harm in taking it to lose weight if the doctor thinks it’s suitable.

This medication is also great for preventing heart attacks, strokes, and heart diseases that might derive from having type 2 diabetes. Each dosage, often the 0.75 mg or 1.5 mg dose, is enough to keep the blood sugar levels controlled before the next injection the following week.

How Does Trulicity Work?

Dulaglutide is the active ingredient in Trulicity that interacts with GLP-1. This incretin hormone is found in your lower gastrointestinal tract. The stimulation reduces hepatic glucose production, decreases gastric emptying, and slows the release of glycogen.

People with type 2 diabetes may have Trulicity injections once a week to keep their physical symptoms under control. This could range from intense fatigue to blurred vision. Trulicity is a medication that can stimulate GLP-1 responses in your bloodstream.

The dulaglutide-based medication binds to GLP-1 receptors and stimulates insulin secretion. This lowers blood glucose levels that might otherwise be too high. Trulicity usually contains 90% of the same amino acids as natural GLP-1 hormones in your body.

Once Trulicity has been injected, it works to regulate your blood sugar over the next week. People need regular shots to maintain their health and limit the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. They’ll require recurring injections to make sure their bodies have glycemic control.

Trulicity for Weight Loss

Some people might take Trulicity to lose weight since this is a side effect that derives from dulaglutide injections. Doctors can prescribe Trulicity off-label to treat obesity or help people achieve their fitness goals. It’s important to know that Trulicity is not intended for weight loss.

Research has found that, on average, patients with a higher BMR lost around 10 pounds when taking these injections. The dosage would often be 4.5 mg, which is the highest amount you can get. However, this was a randomized, controlled trial that might not show accurate results.

Even though the above-mentioned average weight loss might seem high, it doesn’t mean it will be the same for everyone. Age, height, gender, activity level, and current weight can affect weight loss results. Certain drug interactions may also disrupt how your body reacts and make you gain weight.

If you want to lose some weight, performing high-intensity workouts and going on a low-calorie diet is better. This should help you burn plenty of calories that target stubborn fat. Safe weight loss is all about finding a routine that is comfortable for your body.

How Does Trulicity Help You Lose Weight?

Trulicity works for weight loss by mimicking the natural functions of GLP-1 hormones. Since your blood sugar levels will be under control, slow gastric emptying begins. This will make you feel full for longer, preventing snacking throughout the day.

Prescription drugs like Trulicity encourage incretin hormones to signal the brain after meals. The brain will then alert your gastrointestinal system that you don’t need more energy. Trulicity slows the breakdown of food in your stomach, promoting fullness that lasts much longer.

You might find that you’re naturally limiting calories due to not being hungry as often. Removing 500 calories from a weight loss diet is the best way to see physical results. Just remember to take Trulicity treatment once you know it’s safe for your body and goals.

Any type of injectable prescription medicine won’t burn fat directly. It can only trigger certain hormones in your body that respond to new eating habits. You need to exercise and eat healthy foods to lose some weight. Otherwise, you won’t see many results after taking Trulicity.

Side Effects of Using Trulicity for Weight Loss

Most diabetes drugs will cause temporary side effects, but it’s also important for non-diabetic people to know about them. Most side effects are common and won’t cause long-term harm. You should talk to a doctor before getting someone to inject Trulicity.

If you have a personal or family history of thyroid cancer, do not take Trulicity unless your GP allows it. This is to ensure you don’t have a repeat diagnosis in the future since some short-term clinical trials have linked Trulicity medication with thyroid tumors in rats.

Let’s take a look at some common side effects of Trulicity:

Indigestion: Many dulaglutide-based drugs can trigger digestion problems. This often affects people who have gastroparesis – a condition that stops the stomach muscles from emptying the gut properly. If you suffer from this, it might be best to avoid taking diabetes medications.

Allergic reaction: Some people are naturally sensitive to injections and may get swelling, redness, or discoloration around the injection site. Find medical help if you experience a more severe allergic reaction that triggers swelling of your face, tongue, lips, and throat.

Fatigue: You might feel a lack of energy once taking Trulicity for the first time. This is a very common side effect that usually goes away after your body adjusts. A medical professional may tell you to get more rest and not perform strenuous activities during the first couple of weeks.

Nausea: Feeling sick or dizzy might occur after the first two doses of Trulicity. Your body is trying to adapt to the loss of fluids. Nausea isn’t something to be worried about during this “weight loss” treatment, but if the feeling persists after two weeks, express concerns to a doctor.

Abdominal pain: Stomach discomfort may derive from digestion problems due to less frequent bowel movements. Trulicity works to slow down gastric emptying, which might not react well with your stomach. Stop taking Trulicity if you regularly suffer from gastric pain.

Kidney problems: People who have or have had kidney problems may experience more side effects from this treatment. Constipation, vomiting, or general loss of fluids can severely dehydrate your kidneys. This can lead to kidney damage that makes you feel unwell and weak.

Diarrhea: Since Trulicity can disrupt your natural gastrointestinal function, it might trigger uncomfortable bowel movements. Loose, watery stools are quite common on this drug. This side effect shouldn’t last longer than a few days but talk to a doctor if it’s too discomforting.

Decreased appetite: Not feeling hungry is perfectly normal since this is how you’ll lose some weight. Food will last longer in your stomach, promoting satiety. Remember to eat regular meals throughout the day to maintain energy, even if you aren’t hungry or don’t want food.

Trulicity Dosage

The normal dosage for taking Trulicity is 0.75 mg for the first week or two. People need to allow their bodies to adjust and control glucose levels. Those looking just for weight loss benefits usually stick with a lower dosage since Trulicity can affect normal blood sugar.

Doctors may increase the dosage of Trulicity to 1.5 mg once a week when maintaining glycemic production. However, this shouldn’t go up if you’re only trying to lose body fat. The 3 mg and 4 mg dosages are strictly for people who need that extra control for their diabetes.

This medication is also believed to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (like cardiovascular disease) if combined with exercise. Remember that weight loss occurs with both dieting and physical activity.

FAQs

How long does it take for Trulicity to work?

It usually takes around 4 weeks for diabetes medication to take effect. To see weight loss results, you might have to wait longer due to the fat-burning process. Combine exercise and a low-calorie diet with Trulicity to notice physical changes in the first few weeks.

How much does Trulicity cost?

The cost of Trulicity depends on whether you have insurance for it. No insurance plan means you’ll pay around $886.56 per month. If you have Medicaid coverage, medicare part D coverage, or a savings card, you can pay anywhere between $0 to $200 a month.

Can I take Trulicity to lose weight?

Yes, you can take Trulicity to lose some weight, but this method may not be FDA-approved. Doctors can still prescribe Trulicity off-label if they believe it’s safe. Try to perform high-intensity exercises while taking the usual starting dose, as this can kick-start your metabolism.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

You might be curious to try Trulicity when losing weight, but it might not produce the best weight loss results. This medication is used for blood sugar control in people who have diabetes. Dropping some body fat is just a common side effect that derives from Trulicity injections.

The average weight loss for this drug is 10+ pounds when taking it for over 2 months. However, this is only if you eat fewer calories. Trulicity usually gives people a decreased appetite that prevents them from binge eating or consuming more than they should on a diet.

You might be thinking, “How does Trulicity compare to other drugs?” There could be other diabetes drugs like Metformin. Weight loss is still believed to occur in Metformin-treated patients, but that doesn’t mean you should take it. Try to avoid medication altogether on your fitness journey.

Taking other diabetes medications still won’t outweigh the benefits of exercise. It’s not worth causing a medical emergency. You can go on a healthy diet to feel cleaner and prevent potential weight gain. Other drugs may have an increased risk of thyroid cancer.

Even though Trucility has some weight-loss benefits, it can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The Food and Drug Administration stated that the active ingredients in dulaglutide-based shots can prevent heart disease and damaged blood vessels.

To reach your desired weight loss goals, try running for 30 minutes daily or go on a calorie deficit. Physical exercise is the best way to burn calories and achieve your ideal weight quicker. Healthcare professionals will often suggest these methods to lose a few pounds.

Conclusion

So, is Trulicity good for weight loss, or does it make you gain weight?

Taking injections once a week might seem easy, but that doesn’t mean it will benefit your progress. People with diabetes need this prescription medicine whether or not they want to drop weight. Your healthcare provider can advise the best weight loss methods for your health.

Stick to doing high-intensity exercises and find a diet that suits your preferences. Losing weight isn’t a quick process, but the right methods can give you an average weight loss of 1–2 pounds per week. You can reach your goals with the right motivation and consistency.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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