A recent study showed positive results for adherence and persistence in certain patients with type 2 diabetes who were using dulaglutide (Trulicity, Eli Lilly and Company).

The results of the real-world, observational study were presented by Eli Lilly during the American Diabetes Association's 80th Virtual Scientific Sessions. The data showed weekly injectable dulaglutide had significantly higher adherence and longer persistence at 6 months compared with weekly injections of semaglutide or exenatide in people with type 2 diabetes new to GLP-1 receptor agonist treatment. Additionally, significantly fewer people discontinued treatment with dulaglutide compared with semaglutide or exenatide.

The study used US claims data from the HealthCore Integrated Research Database of people with type 2 diabetes initiating weekly injectable treatment with dulaglutide, semaglutide, or exenatide, between August 2017 and June 2019. Matched cohorts were well balanced for characteristics such as age, gender, adapted Diabetes Complications Severity Index score, and select comorbidities, according to Eli Lilly.

The primary objective was to compare adherence and persistence over 6 months among people with type 2 diabetes initiating once-weekly glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, dulaglutide (1.5 mg and 0.75 mg) to semaglutide (1 mg and 0.25/0.5 mg) and exenatide. Kaplan-Meier plot and Cox Proportional Hazard model were used to examine medication persistence. Dulaglutide users were propensity-matched 1:1 to semaglutide users (3852 pairs) or exenatide users (1879 pairs) users.

Results of the study showed adherence was 59.7% for dulaglutide versus semaglutide (42.7%); and 58.1% for dulaglutide versus exenatide (40.3%).

Additionally, results showed persistence was 143.6 days for dulaglutide versus 129.9 days for semaglutide; and 142 days for dulaglutide versus 121.4 days for exenatide. 

Treatment discontinuation was 30.8% for dulaglutide versus semaglutide (40.8%); and 32.1% for dulaglutide versus exenatide (49.4%). 

The most common adverse effects of dulaglutide include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite.

According to Eli Lilly, dulaglutide may cause tumors in the thyroid, including thyroid cancer. Other serious adverse effects include pancreatitis, vision changes, allergic reactions, acute kidney injury, and stomach problems.


Once-weekly Trulicity® (dulaglutide) demonstrates significantly higher adherence and more persistence compared to once-weekly semaglutide and exenatide injections [news release]. Indianapolis, IN; June 13, 2020: Eli Lilly and Company. https://investor.lilly.com/news-releases/news-release-details/once-weekly-trulicityr-dulaglutide-demonstrates-significantly Accessed June 14, 2020.