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Trulicity ® (dulaglutide)
This information is intended for UK registered healthcare professionals only as a scientific exchange in response to your search for information. For current prescribing information for all Lilly products, including Summaries of Product Characteristics, Patient Information Leaflets and Instructions for Use, please visit: www.medicines.org.uk (England, Scotland, Wales) or www.emcmedicines.com/en-GB/northernireland/ (Northern Ireland).
Can Trulicity® (dulaglutide) patients drink alcohol?
Eli Lilly and Company has not studied the effects of concomitant alcohol use while taking dulaglutide. Below we summarise the current evidence.
What are the effects of alcohol on dulaglutide?
We have searched in the biomedical database Ovid Embase® on November 24th 2022 for publications related to dulaglutide (dulaglutide/ OR dulaglutide.mp.) and alcohol consumption (alcohol consumption/ OR alcohol.mp.). The search retrieved 18 results, and none of them were related to the interaction between dulaglutide and alcohol. Thus, information on concomitant drinking of alcoholic beverages while using dulaglutide is not available.
What needs to be considered when patients would like to consume alcohol while taking Trulicity?
Alcohol and acidosis in patients receiving metformin
In alignment with the approved indication of Trulicity1, many patients who use Trulicity also take metformin.
Alcohol and risk of hypoglycaemia in patients receiving insulin or sulfonylurea
Patients receiving dulaglutide in combination with sulphonylurea or insulin may have an increased risk of hypoglycaemia. The risk of hypoglycaemia may be lowered by a reduction in the dose of sulphonylurea or insulin.1
Alcohol is also linked to a risk of hypoglycaemia and/or delayed hypoglycaemia, especially in patients using insulin or sulfonylurea.6
Whether concomitant use of dulaglutide and alcohol further increases the risk of hypoglycaemia is unknown. Measures to minimize such risks might need consideration in patients receiving Trulicity in combination with insulin or sulfonylurea.
Alcohol and risk of weight gain and hyperglycaemia
Intense and excessive consumption of alcohol might cause weight gain and hyperglycaemia.6
The American Diabetes Association recommends adults with diabetes who drink alcohol to do so in moderation, limiting the amount to no more than one drink per day for adult women and no more than two drinks per day for adult men.6
The effect of high alcohol consumption on glycaemia and weight change in patients receiving Trulicity has not been studied.
Alcohol and risk of pancreatitis
The available evidence indicates a link between alcohol consumption and the risk of pancreatitis.7
Use of GLP-1 receptor agonists has been associated with a risk of developing acute pancreatitis. In clinical trials, acute pancreatitis has been reported in association with dulaglutide.1
Patients should be informed of the characteristic symptoms of acute pancreatitis.1
Eli Lilly and company cannot provide a recommendation on whether it is safe to use dulaglutide while consuming alcohol. The treating physician may use the information provided, the patient’s prior medical history and concomitant medications, and other individual factors, in formulating an assessment and approach. The treating physician should consider potential risks and benefits of treatment options and monitor appropriately.
1Trulicity [summary of product characteristics]. Eli Lilly Nederland B.V., The Netherlands.
2Defronzo R, Fleming GA, Chen K, Bicsak TA. Metformin-associated lactic acidosis: Current perspectives on causes and risk. Metabolism. 2016 Feb;65(2):20-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.metabol.2015.10.014
3 Flory J, Lipska K. Metformin in 2019. JAMA. 2019;321(19):1926-1927. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2019.3805
4Long B, Lentz S, Gottlieb M. Alcoholic Ketoacidosis: Etiologies, Evaluation, and Management. J Emerg Med. 2021;61(6):658-665. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jemermed.2021.09.007
5Morton A. Review article: Ketoacidosis in the emergency department. Emerg Med Australas. 2020 Jun;32(3):371-376. https://doi.org/10.1111/1742-6723.13503.
6American Diabetes Association Professional Practice Committee: Draznin B, Aroda VR, Bakris G, Benson G, Brown FM, Freeman R, Green J, Huang E, Isaacs D, Kahan S, Leon J, Lyons SK, Peters AL, Prahalad P, Reusch JEB, Young-Hyman D. 5. Facilitating Behavior Change and Well-being to Improve Health Outcomes: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2022. Diabetes Care. 2022;45(Suppl 1):S60-S82. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc22-S005
7Irving HM, Samokhvalov AV, Rehm J. Alcohol as a risk factor for pancreatitis. A systematic review and meta-analysis. JOP. 2009;10(4):387-92.
Date of Last Review: 10 November 2023