Symlin (Pramlintide acetate) Injection
Symlin is an injectable medication used in conjunction with mealtime insulin doses to control blood sugar levels in adults with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In particular, Symlin helps to lower post-meal blood sugar levels, helping to alleviate any blood sugar spiking.
Adding Symlin does not replace your daily insulin but may lower the amount of insulin you need, especially before mealtimes. It works in three ways:
1. It helps food move out of the stomach at a slower rate, which helps control the rate at which sugar enters the bloodstream following meals.
2. It reduces the amount of sugar that the liver sends into the bloodstream after meals.
3. It helps regulate food intake by decreasing appetite, potentially leading to weight loss.
Symlin should only be used by adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who:
- Already use their insulin as prescribed, but still need help achieving better control.
- Will follow their doctor's instructions.
- Are willing to follow up with their medical team regularly.
- Will test their blood sugar levels before and after every meal and before bed.
- Understand how Symlin works and how to adjust doses with their medical team.
Some people should not be using Symlin as part of their diabetes management plan:
- Those who cannot detect low blood sugars (also known as hypoglycemia unawareness).
- People who have a stomach problem called gastroparesis (when the stomach does not empty predictably and quickly).
- People allergic to Symlin or any ingredients in Symlin.
Some side effects of using Symlin are:
Low blood sugar. Symlin is used with insulin to lower your blood sugar, but your blood sugar may drop too low, particularly if you have type 1 diabetes. When first starting Symlin, be sure to reduce your doses of insulin before meals as recommended by your doctor to reduce the chances of low blood sugar.
Nausea. Nausea is the most common side effect of using Symlin.
Other side effects. Possible side effects include decreased appetite, vomiting, stomach pains, exhaustion, dizziness, or indigestion. Symlin can also cause reactions at the injections site, including redness, minor bruising, or pain.
Symlin should be used exactly as prescribed. Work with your medical team to help integrate Symlin into your diabetes management plan.
Reviewed by James A. Bennett 5/13
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