I've seen symlin referenced in a few posts on here and I'm curious about it.  From what I've read, it sounds like it should help with the post-meal blood glucose spikes as well as lower the amount of insulin you need to take.  Is there anyone willing to share a little about their experience with it?  And did your doctor recommend it or did you have to ask for it.  My endo has never mentioned it. 

Hi Candace,

I took Symlin a few years ago and it made me REALLY nauseous and low.  However, yesterday at my endo appointment my doctor recommended trying it again, so I took it yesterday and today every time I ate.  This time I'm using the pre-measured pen, instead of using the vial and syringe which I used last time.  I feel a tiny bit nauseous right now (I just ate a big bowl of vegan chili, and Symlin slows the emptying of your stomach, so I sorta feel like I have a big brick in my stomach right now.)  However, it is NOTHING like it was last time!  I'm not getting low and it seems to actually be working the way it's supposed to.  I think that when I got instructions on using symlin last time, my CDE had me using wayyy too much, and I was measuring it out in an insulin syringe, which is in units, while Symlin is measured in micrograms.

So anyway, I'm hoping it will help me use less insulin and maybe lose some weight.  Oh, and the first time I went on Symlin, I asked about it because I had heard about it, but this time my endo brought it up because I told him I'd felt like I was gaining weight from keeping tighter control and taking more insulin.  You take half the insulin you would normally take for a meal when you use symlin.  My blood sugars are definitely way lower after a meal than usual.

Anyway, hope that helped, sorry I couldn't be more specific but I don't have very much experience/success with it yet.


Can you take this when you are on an insulin pump ? I have never heard of this before !! I am interested in hearing more about it too !

I used symlin while on the pump and I couldn't handle it. It didn't work at all for me and it made me sick to my stomach for a couple of months so I stopped and decided to go on metformin, which is a pill. That didn't work either so I stopped but I went back on it a few months ago and it is working great now! :)

Hey Candace!

    I am currently on symlin. it does help me. My doc did recommend it. I am also using an isulin pump.  You have to adjust it to what your right level is. Im up to 60 micrograms. It helps so much! My blood sugars are much better and i have lowered my intake of insulin tremendously. It may make you feel sick with the adjustments, but it only lasts until your body gets used to it. For me it was worth it. I have probably lost at least 10 pounds, but it has helped me not gain any  weight. With taking it before meals, i feel full faster. I can tell that right away. But make sure you take the symlin right before you eat because i have waited to long before and i wasnt really hungry at all, but you have to eat food with it, because for me if i didnt eat with it, i felt sick. Before they tried Metformin, but that was a very bad month for me, i had a reaction. But i am considered insulin resistant, so i dont know if its different for you.

 well anyway, good luck if you do start it, i hoped i helped!

    Kayla Fesler

i have never heard of this before...

I used Symlin for 6 months. I felt horribley sick the entire 6 months with no change in my BGs or insulin usage.


Remember to be careful when using any kind of medication (Metformin, Symlin, or otherwise) as a weight loss tool. The medicines aren't teaching you anything about the components of a healthy lifestyle. Meaning you may lose weight, but once you stop the medication and pick up old habits again the weight (and plus some) might come back on.

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, it's about balancing diet and exercise. If you incorporate these ideas into your lifestyle as you use the medication, you'll notice continued success after the drugs have been stopped. Exercise also helps with insulin resistance (it increases insulin sensitivity).

To those who haven't heard of Symlin - Symlin is the synthetic form of Amylin, which is a hormone that is made in the islet cells of the pancreas, along with insulin and glucagon (so we also don't produce Amylin, but non-T1 people do.)  I guess we don't hear about it much because Amylin is technically not necessary to live like insulin is.  What Amylin does is it slows down the digestion of food in your stomach.  It helps you feel fuller for a longer period of time, and ecause it slows down carbohydrate digestion, it can help prevent large BG spikes after meals.  In the non-T1 body, Amylin reduces the need for insulin, so when the synthetic form (Symlin) is injected by T1 people, it reduces our insulin needs too.  It actually reduces your insulin needs (bolus, not basal) by about 50%.

It can be used with a pump or MDI.  However, if you have a pump and want to use Symlin, you will be taking it via if one of the reasons you started the pump was to avoid taking more injections, then you might not like it.  I don't mind the extra injections so far.  Also, I don't feel bad about taking Symlin, or really consider it a weight loss tool because this is just another hormone that my body doesn't make that I can take synthetically to have a better quality of life. 

Hope this helped some of you who hadn't heard of it, and if I've said anything that was inaccurate please let me know, because what I wrote was mostly just from memory from when I researched this before.  :)


C - Do most people tend to use it mostly as a weightloss tool, then?  That wouldn't really be my intent, since I'm fairly comfortable with my weight.  I was just curious about it from the standpoint of lowering the overall amount of insulin I take as well as helping to control the post-prandial spikes. 

Molly - thank you for your post.  It was really helpful and informative!  I'll be curious to see if your experience with it this time around is more positive.

Another question for anyone out there:  has anyone used symlin during pregnancy?  I'm getting ready to try for my second child and I just remember the crazy-large amounts of insulin I was taking during my last pregnancy.  I wonder if symlin has been used by anyone in pregnancy to help combat some of the insulin resistance that occurs in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters?

Candace, a couple of years ago when I was pregnant, doctors weren't letting you use symlin while pregnant. But that may have changed now, so I'd ask your endo.

Everyone else -- I just recently heard about using metforim. Isn't that a drug for T2? Is it supposed to work like symlin does? Is it an injection or a pill? What are the side effects? Thanks! (I'd been avoiding symlin to avoid the side effects, so I'm curious!)

[quote user="Sarah"]

Candace, a couple of years ago when I was pregnant, doctors weren't letting you use symlin while pregnant. But that may have changed now, so I'd ask your endo.

Everyone else -- I just recently heard about using metforim. Isn't that a drug for T2? Is it supposed to work like symlin does? Is it an injection or a pill? What are the side effects? Thanks! (I'd been avoiding symlin to avoid the side effects, so I'm curious!)


Sarah,  I've been taking metformin for about 12 years.  It is usually prescribed for T2.  I don't know if it works like symlin but once I started taking it my bloodsugars seemed to be more in the normal range.  My A1c is usually 5.8-6.2 but that doesn't mean the metformin is the reason - there are a lot of variables that could be causing it to be that low.  It does come in a pill form.  The only side effect that I noticed when I started taking it was a metallic taste in my mouth for about a week - other than that I haven't had any side effects.   

metformin is a pill.

from what i hear, it has the potential for some nasty, nasty side effects (stomach cramping, diarrhea, gas/bloating). but i've never tried it, so i don't know for sure. that's what i got out of my food/medication interactions book :o)

Metformin can have bad side-effects (like any medication) but I never experienced any luckily.

Metfomin is in a pill form. I was on it, but i had an allergic reaction to it. It mad me feel sick, i had alot of cramping with it. My dad takes it also, he has had diarrhea with it. He also has had cramping, but it wasnt bad. So i think it is just how your body handles it.