Diabetes Home > Symlin

Symlin is commonly prescribed to help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The drug is injected just under the skin of the thigh or abdomen. It works by slowing down the increase in blood sugar after meals, decreasing the amount of sugar produced by the liver, and decreasing appetite. Potential side effects of Symlin include nausea, headaches, and vomiting.

What Is Symlin?

Symlin® (pramlintide acetate) is a prescription medication licensed to treat both type 1 and type 2 diabetes (also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes). The medication is intended for use in people who take insulin before meals. Even though it is an injectable diabetes medication, it is not a form of insulin and cannot be used as a replacement for insulin.
(Click Symlin Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses of the drug.)

Who Makes It?

Symlin is made by Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How Does Symlin Work?

Symlin works by mimicking the actions of amylin in the body. Amylin is a hormone that is made and secreted, along with insulin, by the pancreas. In people without diabetes, the level of amylin (and insulin) increases in response to higher blood sugar levels after meals. When the pancreas becomes damaged as a result of type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it can no longer produce enough insulin and amylin.
The amylin actions that Symlin mimics include:
  • Slowing down the emptying of food from the stomach, which slows down the increase in blood sugar after meals
  • Decreasing the amount of glucose (sugar) that the liver produces
  • Working in the brain to help people feel fuller sooner, resulting in a decrease in appetite and food intake.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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