Pramlintide is a medication that is generally used for the treatment of diabetes. Diabetes is a condition in which the body is not able to properly use glucose, also known as blood sugar, for energy. Instead, glucose is released from the liver and remains in the blood instead of being transported to the body’s tissues. Excessive levels of glucose in the blood over time can lead to organ damage. Medications are typically prescribed to people with diabetes to help reduce the amount of glucose in the blood and prevent serious complications.
The levels of glucose in the blood can be controlled in several ways depending on the medication. Pramlintide is a type of diabetic medication that works at regulating glucose by reducing the amount of glucose that is released from the liver. Glucose can also make its way into the body through the ingestion of food, so the medication also helps keep blood sugar levels low by decreasing the amount of time it takes food to make its way into the stomach during the digestive process. This can help prevent a sudden spike in glucose levels after eating, especially foods high in carbohydrates.
Pramlintide is available in a liquid solution form to be used as an injection from either a vial or injection pen. It is typically administered into the stomach or thigh before meals, along with injections of insulin, a hormone naturally made by the body that also helps control glucose. If a person is unable to administer the medication before eating, it is generally not recommended for him or her to double up the missed doses because it can lead to dangerously low levels of glucose in the blood.
There are certain side effects that can occur with the use of pramlintide, but the most common and potentially serious is a sudden decrease of blood glucose. Symptoms of a low glucose levels include sudden fatigue, blurred vision, confusion, dizziness, severe feelings of hunger, shakiness, headache, or fever. If symptoms of low glucose levels are suspected, it is usually advised for a person to eat a high-sugar food, such as a sugar cube or piece of hard candy, to allow glucose levels to increase, or to seek medical attention if seizure or loss of consciousness occurs. Other common side effects that can occur with the use of this medication typically include fatigue, decreased appetite, weight loss, and muscle stiffness or weakness; however, these effects do not tend to be serious or require medical attention.