How Long Does Trulicity Stay In Your System?

GLP-1 receptor agonists are increasing in popularity among diabetes medications lately. 

Just look at the current shortage of Ozempic, one type of GLP-1 receptor agonist!

Trulicity is another GLP-1 receptor agonist that your healthcare provider might recommend. 

If you need to stop taking Trulicity for any reason, you might wonder how long it will stay in your system.

We’ll cover all the aspects of how long Trulicity will stay in your system in this article, as well as other important Trulicity facts! 

What is Trulicity?

Trulicity is a brand name for the medication dulaglutide, a medication in the drug class of medications called GLP-1 receptor agonists. 

Unlike some other diabetes medications, there aren’t currently any generic forms of Trulicity. This means that if you’ve been prescribed dulaglutide, it will only be the brand name Trulicity.

Trulicity is for treating type 2 diabetes and isn’t meant to be taken by people with type 1 diabetes. 

It’s been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration since 2014 and comes in weekly doses of 0.75 milligrams to 4.5 milligrams weekly.

Trulicity is a non-insulin injection that comes in an injector pen, a device that contains and injects the medication. 

Because it’s not insulin, Trulicity doesn’t come with the same risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) as insulin does.

If you’re prescribed Trulicity, your healthcare provider will generally start you at the lowest dose and increase it gradually until your blood sugar levels are considered at your target.

What does Trulicity do to your body?

So how does Trulicity work? Trulicity is a GLP-1 receptor agonist, which means it promotes the activity of GLP-1 receptors. 

GLP-1 receptors are located in your pancreas, and they help increase insulin secretion to help lower your blood sugar levels. 

If you have type 2 diabetes, you likely have insulin resistance (the root cause of type 2 diabetes) or don’t make enough insulin, which makes your blood sugar levels too high. 

Trulicity helps activate these GLP-1 receptors to boost insulin secretion, therefore lowering your blood sugar. 

However, these receptors are glucose-dependent, which means they are activated in response to a rise in your blood sugar, therefore reducing your risk of low blood sugar.

GLP-1 receptor agonist medications like Trulicity also help reduce the secretion of glucagon, a hormone that raises blood sugar levels. 

GLP-1 receptor agonists like Trulicity might help you lose weight because they slow stomach emptying, which can reduce your appetite and food intake. 

Making healthy lifestyle changes in addition to taking Trulicity can maximize its effectiveness for helping you lose weight if that’s your goal.

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Are there any long-term side effects of Trulicity?

Most of the common side effects Trulicity can cause are minor and won’t result in long-term effects. 

The most likely side effects you might experience while taking Trulicity are short-term such as:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Fatigue

These side effects are likely to dissipate once your body gets used to Trulicity or when your dose is reduced or discontinued. 

However, there is a chance you might experience some of the rare side effects of Trulicity, most notably:


Trulicity might cause pancreatitis, so you shouldn’t take it if you have a history of pancreatitis. 

Pancreatitis occurs when your pancreas becomes inflamed, resulting in abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms.

Pancreatitis is usually short-term, but the more you get pancreatitis, the more inflamed your pancreas can become. 

If scar tissue forms on your pancreas due to chronic (long-term) pancreatitis, you might lose some of your ability to produce digestive enzymes. 

Your blood sugar levels might worsen if the beta cells (insulin producers) are damaged from chronic pancreatitis as well.

Gallbladder problems

GLP-1 receptor agonists like Trulicity have been linked with gallbladder problems in some people. 

This condition is called acute cholecystitis and can cause symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, chills, fever, and yellowing of your skin or eyes (jaundice). 

If you develop yellowing of your skin or eyes while taking Trulicity, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately. 

Gallbladder issues can usually be resolved and not turn into long-term effects. 

Over time, repeated gallbladder issues can lead to the thickening of your gallbladder, which might require the removal of your gallbladder.

Thyroid tumors (cancer)

The use of GLP-1 receptor agonists are associated with an increased risk of developing thyroid tumors (thyroid C-cell tumors and an increased risk of medullary thyroid carcinoma). 

You should avoid taking Trulicity and other GLP-1 receptor agonists if you have a personal or family history of multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) type 2, which further increases your risk of thyroid cancer.

If you develop thyroid cancer, you’ll need to undergo further treatments and testing to help stop the cancer’s growth and spread. 

You might experience other long-term effects as a side effect of cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation.

Kidney problems

If you become dehydrated (usually due to vomiting and diarrhea, two common side effects of Trulicity), it can temporarily worsen your kidney function. 

Trulicity is considered a safe medication to use even if you have kidney disease, but if you become dehydrated, it could temporarily worsen your kidney function even if you don’t have kidney disease.

Treating dehydration can help minimize any long-term adverse effects on your kidneys. 

Rehydration, including the administration of IV fluids, can help restore kidney function and prevent any long-term effects.

Can you just stop taking Trulicity?

It’s generally considered safe to stop taking Trulicity abruptly without any need to gradually wean off of it. 

This isn’t the case for all medications, so you should always check with your healthcare provider before discontinuing a medication that has been prescribed to you.

When should you stop taking Trulicity?

There are several reasons you might stop taking Trulicity, such as:

  • You need to switch to another diabetes medication.
  • Trulicity isn’t effective at controlling your blood sugar levels even at the maximum dose.
  • You can no longer afford Trulicity.
  • You’re experiencing severe side effects that aren’t going away, even after being at your current dose for at least 2-4 weeks.
  • You’ve developed an allergy to Trulicity or its ingredients.
  • You develop severe side effects such as pancreatitis, gallbladder problems, etc.
  • You no longer need Trulicity to manage your blood sugar levels.

What is the half-life of Trulicity?

The half-life of a medication is how long it takes for half of the amount to be cleared from your body. 

Because Trulicity is a once-weekly medication, it has a long half-life of five days. 

That means that five days after taking a dose, half of it will still be in your system, and five days after that, half of the previous amount will still be in your system.

Here’s an example:

Days after the last dose of 4.5 mg TrulicityAmount of Trulicity in the system
52.25 mg
101.125 mg
150.5625 mg
200.28125 mg
250.1406 mg

This means that it will take around one month for Trulicity to nearly be out of your system, regardless of your dose. 

The higher the dose, the higher amount of Trulicity that will be in your system. There will be trace amounts of Trulicity in your system beyond a month after your last dose, but it’s such a small amount that it’s considered negligible. 

How long does Trulicity stay in your system?

Trulicity will remain in your system for around a month after your last dose. The amount present at that time will be very small and considered negligible. 

Half of your previous dose will be out of your system five days later, so the majority of Trulicity is cleared from your system in the first 2-3 weeks after you last take it.

How to get Trulicity out of your system

There isn’t any way to quicken the removal of Trulicity from your system. Because Trulicity is injected into your subcutaneous tissue, it isn’t impacted by your diet, or digestive habits like some oral medications might be.

If you’re stopping Trulicity due to side effects, you’ll have to wait for it to clear from your system naturally. 

The good news is that your side effects should start to diminish after you stop taking it, even though it’s technically still in your system.

Trulicity withdrawal

Unlike some types of medications that can be habit-forming, like certain pain medications, there isn’t a risk of withdrawal from Trulicity. 

The most likely outcome from stopping Trulicity is that your blood sugar levels might rise, and your appetite might increase because the delayed stomach emptying effects will no longer be present. 

In addition, any side effects you were experiencing from Trulicity will likely start to go away.

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How to recover from Trulicity side effects

  • Stay hydrated: if you’re experiencing fluid loss from diarrhea and/or vomiting, staying hydrated is important. Sip on clear liquids like juice, sports drinks, and broth if you’re unable to keep much down. If you need to, you can request IV fluids for more severe bouts of dehydration.
  • Eat small meals and snacks: eating small portions of food can help you get the nutrients you need if you’re having a hard time eating, whether it’s from reduced appetite or stomach upset.


Most of the side effects from Trulicity are short-term and will dissipate as you get used to the medication or once you stop taking it.

The likelihood of long-term effects from taking Trulicity is low since these would be from rare side effects like thyroid tumors and pancreatitis. However, the risk is never zero for rare side effects from medications.

Trulicity will be (nearly) completely out of your system around one month after your most recent dose, with no need to taper the dose gradually to discontinue.

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  1. Babajide O, K C N, Solaimanzadeh I, Shiferaw-Deribe Z. Case Report of Acute Pancreatitis Associated With Combination Treatment of Dulaglutide and Glipizide. Cureus. 2022. 
  2. MacIsaac RJ. Dulaglutide and Insulin: How Can the AWARD Studies Help Guide Clinical Practice? Diabetes Ther. 2020. 
  3. Lee J, Umana IE, Nguyen J. Exacerbation of atrial fibrillation related to dulaglutide use. Clin Case Rep. 2021. 

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