Other Injectable Drugs

For many people with type 2 diabetes, a healthy eating plan and exercise will help keep blood sugars stable. However, there are times when these methods are not sufficient or no longer as effective. At that point, medication therapy may be prescribed for more successful diabetes management. Injectable drugs, either in conjunction with or prior to the use of insulin, are used to bring about better glucose control.

Pramlintide (Symlin)

Symlin is a synthetic version of amylin, a hormone generally secreted with insulin. Amylin helps the person feel full by delaying emptying of the stomach. This medication can be used by people with both type 1 and people with type 2 who require insulin.

Side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Other information to note:

  • Symlin is administered before meals, usually at the same time as insulin. Symlin and insulin must be administered as separate injections.
  • Symlin facilitates weight loss.

Learn more about Symlin here.

Theresa Garnero talks about Symlin in The Medicine Mix.


Though not officially part of the list of injectable drugs that can be used daiy, Glucagon makes the list as a vital injectable because it is an emergency treatment. Glucagon is a polypeptide hormone identical to human glucagon that increases blood glucose and relaxes smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal tract. Glucagon is available in a kit that contains a vial of sterile glucagon and a syringe of sterile diluent.

Side effects:

  • Nausea and vomiting may occur, but are also signs of low blood sugar.
  • Allergy symptoms such as skin rash and breathing trouble have been reported.

Other information to note:

  • Friends and relatives of a person with diabetes should know the symptoms of hypoglycemia and be taught how to administer if necessary.
  • Should only be used during pregnancy if clearly needed.

Read about administering glucagon here.


Last Modified Date: July 01, 2013

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by Carey Potash
Charlie’s 12-year anniversary with type 1 just passed and I still know nothing about this diabetes and why it hates us so much. As if to remind us that it was its anniversary, diabetes unleashed hell on Friday. Charlie was stranded well over 400 for hours and even tipped the scale at 580. Susanne pulled Charlie out of school and started what became a wartime exercise in futility. It was one of the worst blood sugar days we’ve had in years. ...