Risk of thyroid tumors:
Carcinogenicity of albiglutide could not be assessed in rodents, but other glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists have caused thyroid C-cell tumors in rodents at clinically relevant exposures. Human relevance of GLP-1 receptor agonist induced C-cell tumors in rodents has not been determined. It is unknown whether albiglutide causes thyroid C-cell tumors, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), in humans.
Albiglutide is contraindicated in patients with a personal or family history of MTC or in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2). Counsel patients regarding the potential risk of MTC with the use of albiglutide and inform them of the symptoms of thyroid tumors (eg, mass in the neck, dysphagia, dyspnea, persistent hoarseness). Routine monitoring of serum calcitonin or using thyroid ultrasound monitoring is of uncertain value for early detection of MTC in patients treated with albiglutide.
Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling. [DSC] = Discontinued product
Pen-injector, Subcutaneous [preservative free]:
Tanzeum: 30 mg (1 ea [DSC]); 50 mg (1 ea [DSC]) [contains polysorbate 80]
Mechanism of Action
Albiglutide is an agonist of human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor and augments glucose-dependent insulin secretion and slows gastric emptying.
Vd: 11 L
Degradation to small peptides and individual amino acids by proteolytic enzymes.
Time to Peak
3 to 5 days
Use: Labeled Indications
Diabetes mellitus, type 2: Adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus
Prior serious hypersensitivity (eg, angioedema) to albiglutide or any component of the formulation; history of or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC); patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN2)
Dosage and Administration
Note: Tanzeum has been discontinued in the US for >1 year.
Diabetes mellitus, type 2: SubQ: 30 mg once weekly; may increase to 50 mg once weekly if inadequate glycemic response. Titration to 50 mg once weekly occurred at week 12 in a monotherapy trial and after a minimum of 4 weeks in combination therapy trials.
Concomitant use with insulin and/or insulin secretagogues (eg, sulfonylurea): Reduced dose of insulin and/or insulin secretagogues may be needed.
Missed doses: If a dose is missed, administer as soon as possible within 3 days after the missed dose; dosing can then be resumed on the usual day of administration. If more than 3 days have passed since the dose was missed, omit the missed dose and resume administration at the next regularly scheduled weekly dose.
Refer to adult dosing.
Reconstitute powder with the diluent contained in the pen device. Refer to manufacturer's product labeling for full reconstitution instructions. Administer within 8 hours of reconstitution.
SubQ: Do not inject intravenously or intramuscularly. Inject subcutaneously into the upper arm, thigh, or abdomen; when administering within the same body region, use a different injection site each week. Administer once weekly on the same day each week, without regard to meals or time of day. The day of weekly administration may be changed, as long as the last dose was administered ≥4 days before. Use immediately after attaching and priming the needle; solution can clog the needle if allowed to dry in the primed needle. If using concomitantly with insulin, administer as separate injections (do not mix); may inject in the same body region as insulin, but not adjacent to one another.
Individualized medical nutrition therapy (MNT) based on ADA recommendations is an integral part of therapy.
Store unused pens at 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F); may be stored at room temperature (≤30°C [86°F]) for ≤4 weeks prior to reconstitution. Do not freeze. Use within 8 hours of reconstitution.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy
Androgens: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Exceptions: Danazol. Monitor therapy
Direct Acting Antiviral Agents (HCV): May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy
Guanethidine: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy
Hyperglycemia-Associated Agents: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy
Hypoglycemia-Associated Agents: Antidiabetic Agents may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Hypoglycemia-Associated Agents. Monitor therapy
Insulins: Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Agonists may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Insulins. Management: Consider insulin dose reductions when used in combination with glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists. Consider therapy modification
Maitake: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Pegvisomant: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Prothionamide: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Quinolones: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Quinolones may diminish the therapeutic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Specifically, if an agent is being used to treat diabetes, loss of blood sugar control may occur with quinolone use. Monitor therapy
Ritodrine: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy
Salicylates: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Sincalide: Drugs that Affect Gallbladder Function may diminish the therapeutic effect of Sincalide. Management: Consider discontinuing drugs that may affect gallbladder motility prior to the use of sincalide to stimulate gallbladder contraction. Consider therapy modification
Sulfonylureas: Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Agonists may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Management: Consider sulfonylurea dose reductions when used in combination with glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists. Consider therapy modification
Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy
Reactions reported from monotherapy and combination therapy.
Endocrine & metabolic: Hypoglycemia (combination therapy; 3% to 17%)
Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea (13%), nausea (11%)
Local: Injection site reaction (11% to 18%, including erythema at injection site [2%], hypersensitivity reaction at injection site [1%], rash at injection site [1%], itching at injection site)
Respiratory: Upper respiratory tract infection (14%)
1% to 10%:
Cardiovascular: Atrial fibrillation (1%)
Endocrine & metabolic: Increased gamma-glutamyl transferase (2%)
Gastrointestinal: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (4%), vomiting (4%)
Immunologic: Antibody development (non-neutralizing; 6%)
Infection: Influenza (5%)
Neuromuscular & skeletal: Arthralgia (7%), back pain (7%)
Respiratory: Cough (7%), pneumonia (2%)
<1%: Angioedema, appendicitis, atrial flutter, constipation, hypersensitivity reaction, increased heart rate (1-2 bpm), increased serum ALT, increased serum bilirubin, pancreatitis
Concerns related to adverse effects:
- Hypersensitivity reactions: Serious hypersensitivity reactions (including angioedema, generalized pruritus and rash with dyspnea) have been reported with use; discontinue therapy in the event of a hypersensitivity reaction; treat appropriately and monitor patients until signs and symptoms resolve. Use in patients with prior serious hypersensitivity reactions to albiglutide is contraindicated. Use with caution in patients with history of anaphylaxis or angioedema to other GLP-1 receptor agonists; potential for cross-sensitivity is unknown.
- Gallbladder disease: Use of GLP-1 agonists may increase risk of gallbladder and bile duct disease (Faillie 2016).
- Pancreatitis: Cases of acute pancreatitis have been reported; monitor for signs and symptoms of pancreatitis (eg, persistent severe abdominal pain which may radiate to the back and which may or may not be accompanied by vomiting). If pancreatitis is suspected, discontinue use. Do not resume unless an alternative etiology of pancreatitis is confirmed. Consider antidiabetic therapies other than albiglutide in patients with a history of pancreatitis.
- Renal effects: Worsening renal failure and acute kidney injury (some requiring hemodialysis) have been reported; some cases have been reported in patients with no known preexisting renal disease and without gastrointestinal adverse reactions. Monitor for dehydration associated with gastrointestinal effects and avoid fluid depletion.
- Thyroid tumors: [US Boxed Warning] Thyroid C-cell tumors have developed in animal studies with glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists; it is not known if albiglutide causes thyroid C-cell tumor, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in humans. Routine monitoring of serum calcitonin or using thyroid ultrasound monitoring is of uncertain value for early detection of MTC in patients treated with albiglutide. Patients should be counseled on the potential risk of MTC with the use of albiglutide and informed of symptoms of thyroid tumors (eg, neck mass, dysphagia, dyspnea, persistent hoarseness). Use is contraindicated in patients with a personal or a family history of MTC and in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN2). Cases of MTC in humans have been reported in patients treated with the GLP-1 receptor agonist liraglutide. Consultation with an endocrinologist is recommended in patients with thyroid nodules on physical examination or neck imaging and patients who develop elevated calcitonin concentrations.
- Bariatric surgery:
- Dehydration: Evaluate, correct, and maintain postsurgical fluid requirements and volume status prior to initiating therapy, and closely monitor the patient for the duration of therapy; acute and chronic kidney failure exacerbation may occur. A majority of cases occurred in patients with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or dehydration. Nausea is common and fluid intake may be more difficult after gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric band (Mechanick 2013).
- Excessive glucagon-like peptide-1 exposure: Closely monitor for efficacy and assess for signs and symptoms of pancreatitis if therapy is initiated after surgery; gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy (but not gastric band) significantly increase endogenous postprandial glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) concentrations (Korner 2009; Peterli 2012). Administration of exogenous GLP-1 agonists may be redundant to surgery effects.
- Gastrointestinal disease: Use is not recommended in patients with preexisting severe gastrointestinal disease.
- Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with renal impairment and/or in patients with severe GI symptoms, particularly during initiation of therapy and dose escalation.
Concurrent drug therapy issues:
- Drug-drug interactions: Potentially significant interactions may exist, requiring dose or frequency adjustment, additional monitoring, and/or selection of alternative therapy. Consult drug interactions database for more detailed information.
- Appropriate use: Diabetes mellitus: Not recommended for first-line therapy in patients inadequately controlled on diet and exercise alone. Do not use in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus or for the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis; not a substitute for insulin.
- Patient education: Diabetes self-management education (DSME) is essential to maximize the effectiveness of therapy.
Plasma glucose, HbA1c (at least twice yearly in patients who have stable glycemic control and are meeting treatment goals; quarterly in patients not meeting treatment goals or with therapy change [ADA 2019]), renal function, signs/symptoms of pancreatitis; signs/symptoms of gallbladder disease; signs/symptoms of dehydration
Pregnancy Risk Factor
Adverse events have been observed in some animal reproduction studies.
Poorly controlled diabetes during pregnancy can be associated with an increased risk of adverse maternal and fetal outcomes, including diabetic ketoacidosis, preeclampsia, spontaneous abortion, preterm delivery, delivery complications, major birth defects, stillbirth, and macrosomia (ACOG 201 2018). To prevent adverse outcomes, prior to conception and throughout pregnancy, maternal blood glucose and HbA1c should be kept as close to target goals as possible but without causing significant hypoglycemia (ADA 2020; Blumer 2013).
Agents other than albiglutide are currently recommended to treat diabetes mellitus in pregnancy (ADA 2020).
Because of the long washout period, consider stopping albiglutide at least 1 month before a planned pregnancy.
What is this drug used for?
- It is used to lower blood sugar in patients with high blood sugar (diabetes).
Frequently reported side effects of this drug
- Injection site irritation
- Back pain
- Joint pain
- Flu-like symptoms
- Common cold symptoms
Other side effects of this drug: Talk with your doctor right away if you have any of these signs of:
- Thyroid cancer like new lump or swelling in the neck, pain in the front of the neck, persistent cough, persistent change in voice like hoarseness, or trouble swallowing or breathing.
- Pancreatitis like severe abdominal pain, severe back pain, severe nausea, or vomiting.
- Kidney problems like unable to pass urine, blood in the urine, change in amount of urine passed, or weight gain.
- Passing out
- Low blood sugar like dizziness, headache, fatigue, feeling weak, shaking, fast heartbeat, confusion, increased hunger, or sweating.
- Signs of a significant reaction like wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.