If you've been harmed by Trulicity (dulaglutide), you may feel like you'll never get your old life back. While this drug is designed to help patients cope with the symptoms of diabetes, many people who use Trulicity end up contracting even worse conditions than those they had before. If you learn more about Trulicity, however, you may be able to find ways to turn the tables on your unfortunate situation, and you'll be able to arm yourself with knowledge that will help you steer others away from this potentially lethal drug.
What Is Trulicity?
Trulicity is a brand name for the drug dulaglutide, which is used to treat type 2 diabetes. This drug is manufactured by Eli Lilly, which is a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Indiana. Trulicity purportedly lowers your blood sugar, and since heightened blood sugar is the hallmark of diabetes, the intended function of this drug is to reduce the comorbid conditions associated with diabetes such as heart attack, kidney damage, tissue death, and issues with your nervous system.
Trulicity is a prescription drug, which means that patients can only acquire it with a doctor's permission. This drug has been approved by the FDA, which indicates that it has been deemed reasonably safe for consumer use. The FDA approved this drug because the results of a 52-week double-blind study indicated that Trulicity was safe for human consumption and that it reduced the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. It's important to point out, however, that Trulicity is only described as being effective when it is paired with other efforts such as proper exercise and diet, and hundreds of Trulicity users around the country have noted that this drug has serious side effects.
When you buy Trulicity at a pharmacy, it comes in a hypodermic needle. You use this needle to inject Trulicity under your skin, and the recommended initial dose is 0.75 mg per week. Once your body has adapted to Trulicity, it's possible to up the dosage to 1.5 mg per week. This drug can be administered at any time of day with or without food, and experts recommend that you inject Trulicity in the abdomen, upper arm, or thigh.
Trulicity's Intended Effects
Dulaglutide drugs, such as Trulicity, mimic the effects of incretin, which is a hormone that is naturally secreted by the human body. Incretin releases insulin when your body notes an increase in blood sugar, and it also decreases the amount of sugar produced by your liver. Since diabetes patients do their best to avoid the blood sugar spikes that occur after meals, incretin mimickers such as Trulicity are often seen as valid pharmaceutical solutions to the detrimental effects of type 2 diabetes.
Trulicity and A1c Reduction
One of the claims that Eli Lilly makes regarding Trulicity is that it lowers the results of your A1c tests. These types of tests measure your blood sugar over the course of months, which corrects for any momentary spikes or drop-offs in blood sugar that may happen throughout a given day. If the results of your A1c tests become lower than they were before, it may mean that you are recovering from your diabetes symptoms, which makes A1clevels indicative of whether or not a diabetes drug is working.
A1c tests measure the amount of hemoglobin in your blood that has glucose attached to it. Glucose is one of the most common forms of sugar, and it is the form of sugar that is referred to as "blood sugar." When glucose attaches to hemoglobin, this process is called glycating, and a normal person's blood has about 5 percent glycated cells. If your glycated cell count, or A1c level, exceeds about 5.5 percent, it's likely that you have diabetes.
Hemoglobin lives for about three months, which is why the A1c test covers a similar timeframe. This test keeps track as your blood goes through an entire hemoglobin cycle, and it checks to determine whether or not your glycated blood cell count goes down during this period. If you're using Trulicity and your A1c test notes lower blood sugar, this is seen as a sign that the medication is working.
Trulicity Drug Interactions
If you use any drugs that affect your blood sugar, you may experience negative drug interactions when you start using Trulicity. Before you start using Trulicity, always consult with your doctor regarding any interactions that could occur, and also determine whether not there's any possibility that you're allergic to this drug. After you start using Trulicity, continue to check your blood sugar regularly, and if you note that your blood sugar is too low or too high, stop using Trulicity and consult with your doctor immediately.
If you have any other drug allergies, it's possible that you may be allergic to Trulicity as well. Before you use Trulicity, make sure to tell your doctor if you have any history of kidney disease, pancreatitis, or gastrointestinal disorders. Trulicity may cause a resurgence of these conditions, orit may make them worse if you currently suffer from them. It is recommended that you avoid drinking alcohol while you use Trulicity since alcoholic beverages can lower your blood sugar, and it's also important to inform your doctor that you're using Trulicity before you undergo any type of surgery. Pregnant women should avoid the use of Trulicity; even though pregnancy can make diabetes worse, the side effects of Trulicity could damage the fetus. Similarly, since the effects of Trulicity on breastfeeding children are unknown, so this drug should not be used while breastfeeding.
Trulicity Manufacturer's Warnings
In addition to the above general warnings regarding Trulicity, Eli Lilly has also produced their own set of warnings for this drug. First, Eli Lilly is careful to point out that Trulicity is not meant to be used as first-line therapy for patients who are either unwilling or incapable of committing to the dietary and exercise changes necessary to bring out the true potential of this drug. The medical results stated for Trulicity are based on a treatment regimen that also includes diet and exercise, and the same results that are reported in this drug's marketing literature won't apply if you only use Trulicity without making other efforts to improve your health.
Eli Lilly goes on to state that patients who have a history of pancreatitis should use a different medication. This statement is telling regarding the potential cancer dangers that are associated with this drug. Also, Trulicity is only designed for use with patients who have type 2 diabetes; it will not work for patients who have type 1 diabetes. If patients have pre-existing severe gastrointestinal disease, Eli Lilly recommends that a different drug be used.
This pharmaceutical company also has a section on Trulicity contraindications. While indications are reasons why a person should use a drug, contraindications are reasons why a person shouldn't use a drug. In this section, Eli Lilly points out that patients who have a family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia shouldn't use this drug. They go on to say that anyone who has had a "prior serious hypersensitivity reaction" to Trulicity shouldn't use this drug.
In the rest of their warnings document, Eli Lilly echoes many of the warnings that we covered above, but they go on to say that this drug can cause acute kidney injury and severe gastrointestinal disease. Based on all of the warning information collected, it appears that using this drug may reduce your blood sugar, but it also might cause serious organ damage that could kill you.
Reported Side Effects of Trulicity
Since the initial introduction of Trulicity to the consumer market, stories of this drug's side effects have been rampant. Many, if not the majority, of consumers who have used this drug, have reported experiencing at least mild side effects, and some diabetes patients have even incurred side effects that are significantly worse than the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. The most commonly reported side effect of Trulicty appears to be gastrointestinal distress, and gut issues associated with this drug come in many forms. Some examples of the gastrointestinal problems associated with Trulicty include:
- Frequent bowel movements
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Excessive belching
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased appetite
Almost everyone who uses Trulicity and similar drugs report at least some degree of gastrointestinal discomfort, and type 2 diabetes patients who only experience these symptoms are the lucky ones. If you continue to use Trulicity after you start to notice the onset of side effects, you could contract even more side effects such as:
- Fatigue: This drug can cause patients to have unreasonably low energy levels throughout the day. Fatigue is a condition of constant tiredness that sleep doesn't completely alleviate or doesn't alleviate at all.
- Muscular weakness: Trulicity can also cause muscle weakness to the point that lifting even moderately heavy objects or going for a walk can become hard. Since drugs like Trulicity are only effective when they are paired with a rigorous exercise regimen, this side effect can significantly reduce the efficacy of this drug.
- Malaise: In some cases, the side effects that patients encounter when they use Trulicity are more nondescript. The umbrella term "malaise" is used to refer to any symptoms that make a person feel generally unwell without affecting a certain part of the body. If malaise is intense enough, it can make it impossible for a person to work or even get out of bed.
In addition to all of these side effects, it's also worth noting that drugs like Trulicity can overcompensate for high blood pressure and cause hypoglycemia. While hyperglycemia is when you have too much sugar in your blood, hypoglycemia is when your blood sugar is too low, and symptoms of hypoglycemia include extreme hunger, exhaustion, and light-headedness. In some cases, hypoglycemia can even make you lose consciousness.
This list of side effects in no way covers all of the symptoms that can be caused by taking Trulicity. Many other types of detrimental effects can manifest when you take this drug, and many people have even developed cancer from using Trulicity to treat their diabetes.
Trulicity and Cancer
While the other side effects of Trulicity may seem severe, they pale in comparison with the potential of this drug to cause cancer. Since the inception of incretin mimickers, it has been found that these drugs have a tendency to cause pancreatic cancer and other conditions associated with the pancreas such as pancreatitis. The exact mechanism that causes pancreatic cancer in Trulicity patients remains unknown, but enough people who have used this drug have developed pancreatic cancer to merit serious consideration that this drug may be a carcinogen.
Where Trulicity differs from other types of incretin mimickers, however, is that it also causes thyroid cancer. Medical research has found that dulaglutide, which is the active ingredient in Trulicity, causes thyroid C-cell tumors in rats. While some of these tumors may be benign, it's also been found that this drug causes medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), which is an insidious form of cancer that can destroy a person's thyroid.
If you want to stay in good health, your thyroid needs to be in perfect working order. This gland is located in the neck just below the Adam's apple, and its main purpose is to regulate the body's energy use. When the thyroid produces too many hormones, you'll experience the symptoms of hyperactivity, and it may be hard to maintain a healthy body weight because your metabolism will speed up. If the thyroid doesn't produce as many hormones, however, you'll become lethargic, and a common comorbid condition of hypothyroidism is depression.
People who try Trulicity to treat their diabetes run the risk of losing their thyroids. People who develop MTCs are lucky if they only lose partial thyroid functionality, but it's often necessary to surgically remove the thyroid if an MTC is found. You can live without your thyroid, but only if you take daily medication. If you ever lose access to your thyroid replacement medication, you won't survive.
In extreme cases, however, MTCs can metastasize and expand throughout your body. There's also the possibility that you could develop pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer simultaneously. Since the pancreas produces insulin, pancreatic cancer is one of the worst cancers that a person with diabetes can develop, and a combination of pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer is practically a death sentence unless these cancers can be beaten with conventional or alternative treatment methods.
Given these risks, it's best to avoid using Trulicity under any and all circumstances. As research continues to be done into incretin mimickers, there may be a medical breakthrough that makes these drugs safe. At this point, however, it appears that the human body rejects attempts to boost incretin levels with synthetic mimickers, and while it's possible to treat diabetes with dietary and lifestyle changes, the side effects associated with Trulicity can be fatal.
The Trulicity Controversy
Over the years, diabetes drugs like Trulicity have gotten a bad rap. While these drugs appear to reduce the symptoms of diabetes, they may do more harm than good; thousands upon thousands of people across the United States and the rest of the developed world have experienced serious physical harm at the hands of drugs like Trulicity, and many of them have died from the conditions associated with these types of drugs.
While Trulicity has largely skated past the legal turmoil surrounding diabetes drugs so far, plenty of other similar drugs have been targeted by consumer advocacy groups. For instance, a class action lawsuit against Januvia, Byetta, and Victoza is in the concluding phases in California federal court. Like Trulicity, these drugs mimic the effects of blood sugar-reducing hormones in the human body, and they have had disastrous effects.
Given the legal history of these drugs, it's interesting that Trulicity has earned so little ire among consumer advocacy groups to this date. Januvia, Byetta, Victoza, and a number of other similar drugs all mimic incretin in the same way that Trulicity does. Supposedly, Trulicity mimics incretin in a way that is less harmful to the human body than these other drugs, but the thousands of people who have been harmed by Trulicity would beg to differ.
In 2013, the FDA released a letter calling into question the safety of Januvia and a number of other incretin mimickers. This letter informed the public that the agency had begun investigating the link between these drugs and pancreatic cancer, and hundreds of lawsuits were subsequently filed against the manufacturers of these drugs. These cases were consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) No. 2452, which is titled Re: Incretin Mimetics ProductsLiability Litigation.
Due to powerful pushback from the pharmaceutical companies responsible for these patient injuries, this mass case was dismissed in 2015. However, after a successful appeal, the case was reinstated in 2015. While it appears that this mass lawsuit will conclude in favor of the plaintiffs, there are over 948 cases pending, and more are being added every month.
Here are some examples of the cases that were filed against the makers of these incretin mimickers:
- Regina Kelley: The estate of this victim filed a suit against Amylin, Merck, and Eli Lilly. Regina had died of pancreatic cancer that was caused by Januvia and Byetta. Before she died, she was severely injured by these drugs.
- Linda Jean Howard: This plaintiff developed pancreatitis after she started using Byetta and Victoza. She alleges that both she and her doctor were unaware that these drugs could cause pancreatitis and that if they had known about this danger, she wouldn't have used these drugs.
- Guy Riley: Guy sued on behalf of his deceased wife, Kathleen, who died after being prescribed Byetta and Januvia. Kathleen started using these drugs in 2005, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009, and she died in 2012.
Since Trulicity was approved by the FDA in 2014, which was after this federal agency released its warning about incretin mimickers, it stands to reason that Eli Lilly made a stringent case that their drug is different from other pharmaceuticals in its class. However, it's clear that Trulicity also cause pancreatic cancer, and it also causes other types of cancer, such as thyroid cancer, that wasn't caused by any of Trulicity's predecessors. It appears that a truly novel approach to incretin mimicking is called for, but the evidence amassed so far seems to indicate that any further attempts to mimic this substance with synthetic chemicals are likely to produce similar results.
While Trulicity hasn't been included in any of the mass lawsuits that have been filed against manufacturers of incretin mimickers yet, it's only a matter of time until this dangerous drug receives the legal attention that it deserves.
Legal Action Against Trulicity
At this point, there are no class action lawsuits regarding Trulicity. The FDA has ordered Eli Lilly to carry out a number of post-marketing studies to determine the relationship between Trulicity and heart disease, but since the link between this drug and various diseases hasn't yet been fully established in a legal setting, there aren't currently any options for group legal action.
If you have been harmed by Trulicity, however, you can work with a lawyer who will litigate against Eli Lilly directly. Pancreatic cancer and other side effects of this drug can be debilitating or even lethal, which means that you generally have a good case if you are seeking compensation for the harm caused by this drug.
As more and more people become aware of their legal recourse when it comes to harm caused by Trulicity, the opportunity for a mass tort lawsuit may arise. A tort is a type of wrong done by one person that affects another person. When many people have been harmed by the same entity, such as Eli Lilly, these people can come together to sue the responsible entity en masse. When you talk to your lawyer, ask about the prospects of a Trulicity mass tort that may be on the horizon.
Find a Trulicity Lawsuit Expert Near Me
To learn more about your legal recourse when it comes to compensation for the side effects of Trulicity, reach out to Consumer Alert Now today. Serving all areas of the United States, Consumer Alert Now provides information and support to people who have been harmed by drugs like Trulicity, and you can schedule a free consultation today. To get started, call Consumer Alert Now at (800) 511-0747