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(trade name)


Therapeutic: antidiabetics
Pharmacologic: glucagon like peptide 1 glp 1 receptor agonists
Pregnancy Category: C


Adjunct to diet and exercise in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.


Acts as an agonist at the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor resulting in augmented glucose-dependent insulin secretion. Bound to a molecule of human albumin which results in prolonged duration of action.

Therapeutic effects

Improved glycemic control.


Absorption: Absorption follows subcutaneous injection.
Distribution: Unknown.
Metabolism and Excretion: Degraded by proteolytic enzymes; albumin portion is broken down by vascular endothelium.
Half-life: 5 days.

Time/action profile (effect on HBA1c)

subcutwithin 4 wk12 wk†throughout treatment
† Steady-state levels achieved in 4–5 wk.


Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity; History of pancreatitis; Personal/family history of medullary thyroid cell cancer (MTC) or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2); History of severe gastrointestinal disease; Lactation: Discontinue albiglutide or discontinue breast feeding.
Use Cautiously in: Renal impairment (monitor renal function during initiation and dose escalation); Geriatric: Elderly patients may be more sensitive to drug effects; Obstetric: Avoid use during pregnancy (taper and discontinue at least 1 mo prior to planned pregnancy; Pediatric: Safe and effective use in children <18 yr has not been established.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects


  • pancreatitis (life-threatening)
  • diarrhea (most frequent)
  • nausea (most frequent)
  • delayed gastric empyting
  • dyspepsia
  • reflux


  • renal impairment (in association with nausea, vomiting, dehydration)


  • hypoglycemia (↑ with insulin/sulfonylureas) (most frequent)
  • ↑ risk of thyroid C-cell tumors


  • injection site reactions (most frequent)


  • hypersensitivity reactions


Drug-Drug interaction

↑ risk of hypoglycemia with other antidiabetic agents, especially insulin and sulfonylureas (dose reduction of insulin or sulfonylureas may be warranted).May alter the absorption of concurrently administered oral medications.


Subcutaneous (Adults) 30 mg once weekly, may be ↑ to 50 mg once weekly if needed.


Lypohilized powder for subcutaneous injection (requires reconstitution): 30 mg single-use Pen, 50 mg single-use Pen

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Observe patient taking concurrent insulin for signs and symptoms of hypoglycemic reactions (sweating, hunger, weakness, dizziness, tremor, tachycardia, anxiety).
  • If thyroid nodules or elevated serum calcitonin are noted, patient should be referred to an endocrinologist.
  • Monitor for signs and symptoms of hypersensitivity reactions (pruritus, rash, dyspnea). If signs and symptoms occur, discontinue therapy and treat symptomatically.
  • Monitor for pancreatitis (persistent severe abdominal pain, sometimes radiating to the back, with or without vomiting). If pancreatitis is suspected, discontinue albiglutide; if confirmed, do not restart albiglutide.
  • Lab Test Considerations: Monitor serum HbA1c periodically during therapy to evaluate effectiveness.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Imbalanced nutrition: more than body requirements (Indications)
Noncompliance (Patient/Family Teaching)


  • Patients stabilized on a diabetic regimen who are exposed to stress, fever, trauma, infection, or surgery may require administration of insulin.
  • Albiglutide is not indicated to patients with diabetes type I or for diabetic ketoacidosis.
  • Subcutaneous: Administer once weekly at any time of the day, without regard to food. Day of the week may be changed as long as last dose was administered 4 or more days before. Inject into abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. Solution should be clear and colorless; do not administer solutions that are discolored or contain particulate matter.
    • Consider decreasing dose of concurrently administered insulin secretagogues (e.g. sulfonylureas) or insulin to reduce risk of hypoglycemia.
    • Follow manufacturer's instructions carefully regarding use of pen for administration. Use within 8 hrs of reconstitution.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient on use of Tanzeum pen and to take albiglutide as directed. Pen should never be shared between patients, even if needle is changed. Store pen in refrigerator; do not freeze. After initial use, pen may be stored at room temperature or refrigerated up to 30 days. Keep pen cap on when not in use. Protect from excessive heat and sunlight. Remove and safely discard needle after each injection and store pen without needle attached. Advise patient to read the Patient Medication Guide before starting albiglutide and with each Rx refill.
  • If a dose is missed take as soon as possible within 3 days of missed dose. If longer than 3 days are missed, instruct patient to wait and take next dose at usual weekly time.
  • Inform patient that nausea is the most common side effect, but usually decreases over time.
  • Explain to patient that this medication controls hyperglycemia but does not cure diabetes. Therapy is long-term.
  • Review signs of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia with patient. If hypoglycemia occurs, advise patient to take a glass of orange juice or 2–3 tsp of sugar, honey, or corn syrup dissolved in water and notify health care professional.
  • Encourage patient to follow prescribed diet, medication, and exercise regimen to prevent hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic episodes.
  • Instruct patient in proper testing of serum glucose and ketones. These tests should be closely monitored during periods of stress or illness, and health care professional should be notified if significant changes occur.
  • Advise patient to tell health care professional what medications they are taking and to avoid taking new Rx, OTC, vitamins, or herbal products without consulting health care professional.
  • Advise patient to notify discontinue albiglutide and health care professional immediately if signs of pancreatitis (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain) occur.
  • Advise patient to inform health care professional of medication regimen before treatment or surgery.
  • Inform patient of risk of benign and malignant thyroid C-cell tumors. Advise patient to notify health care professional if symptoms of thyroid tumors (lump in neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, shortness of breath) or if signs of allergic reaction (swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; fainting or feeling dizzy; very rapid heartbeat; problems breathing or swallowing; severe rash or itching) occur.
  • If pregnancy is planned, consider stopping albiglutide at least 1 mo before a planned pregnancy. Insulin is the preferred method of controlling blood glucose during pregnancy. Counsel female patients to notify health care professional if pregnancy is planned or suspected or if breastfeeding.
  • Advise patient to carry a form of sugar (sugar packets, candy) and identification describing disease process and medication regimen at all times.
  • Emphasize the importance of routine follow-up exams.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Improved glycemic control.
References in periodicals archive ?
TYPES AND NAMES OF DIABETES MEDICATIONS* CLASS BRAND NAMES Biguanides Glucophage, Fortamet GLP-1 receptor agonists Trulicity, Tanzeum, Bydureon, Victoza DPP-IV inhibitors Januvia, Onglyza, Nesina SGLT-2 inhibitors Invokana, Farxiga, Jardiance Sulfonylureas Amaryl, Glucotrol, DiaBeta, Glynase Insulin Tresiba, Toujeo, Afrezza, Levemir, Lantus Combination drugs Janumet, Jentadueto, Kombiglyze, Tradjenta, Kazano, Oseni * This chart provides examples of some, but not all, medications used to treat diabetes.
Arnuity Ellipta in respiratory, Triumeq in HIV and Tanzeum for type 2
M2 EQUITYBITES-July 31, 2014-GlaxoSmithKline introduces Tanzeum in US
It was reported yesterday that GlaxoSmithKline, a global healthcare company, has launched Tanzeum (albiglutide), a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, in pharmacies throughout the United States.
M2 PHARMA-July 31, 2014-GlaxoSmithKline introduces Tanzeum in US
GlaxoSmithKline, a United Kingdom-based pharmaceutical, biologics, vaccines and consumer healthcare company, has received marketing approval for its new type 2 diabetes drug, branded as Tanzeum in the US and Eperzan in Europe from the United States Food and Drug Administration, it was reported yesterday.
Tanzeum has been approved as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
We are pleased that the approval of Tanzeum provides an effective new weekly GLP-1 treatment option for appropriate patients in the US.
The FDA approval of albiglutide is based on the results of GSK s comprehensive Phase III Harmony programme, consisting of eight trials and involving over 5,000 patients, over 2,000 of whom were treated with Tanzeum.
Food and Drug Administration today approved Tanzeum (albiglutide) subcutaneous injection to improve glycemic control, along with diet and exercise, in adults with type 2 diabetes.
Tanzeum is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, a hormone that helps normalize blood sugar levels.
Tanzeum has been studied as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with other type 2 diabetes therapies, including metformin, glimepiride, pioglitazone, and insulin.