A premixed blend of insulin and pramlintide (currently sold as Symlin) was found to be effective at lowering blood glucose in people with type 1 diabetes, according to research presented at ENDO 2021, this year’s annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.
Pramlintide is a drug that simulates the effects of amylin, a hormone that is released along with insulin from pancreatic beta cells in people without diabetes. Amylin helps regulate blood glucose in a number of ways, including by slowing stomach emptying, and helps insulin work more efficiently and effectively. Currently, people who take pramlintide must inject it separately from their insulin, even if they take it at the same time as their mealtime insulin doses. It’s generally accepted that taking pramlintide along with insulin at mealtimes can allow people to reduce their insulin dose by about 50%, as noted in an article on the latest study at Medical Dialogues.
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Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, compared a new formulation of premixed insulin and pramlintide with separate injections of insulin and pramlintide, as well as insulin alone, in a study group of 18 adults with type 1 diabetes. Each participant was assigned to take each of the three therapies in a random sequence, 30 minutes before taking a 75-gram oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) on three separate occasions. For both the new premixed insulin-pramlintide blend and separate injections of insulin and pramlintide, participants reduced their typical insulin dose — calculated for the OGTT based on their personal insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio — by 50%.
For each OGTT, participants were monitored for six hours after taking their oral glucose. Compared with taking insulin alone, when participants took the insulin-pramlintide blend, they were 62% less likely to experience high blood glucose in response to the oral glucose. They also experienced a smaller overall average change in blood glucose levels compared with both of the other interventions — an average change of 197.7 mg/dl for the insulin-pramlintide blend, versus 230.0 mg/dl for separate insulin and pramlintide injections and 254.2 md/dl for insulin alone. Based on blood markers, the researchers found that pramlintide worked more effectively and for longer when the premixed blend was used than when the drug was injected separately.
There were no serious adverse events in any of the participants after any injections, and minor to moderate adverse events like soreness at the injection site, nausea or vomiting were similar in response to each of the three interventions. The researchers concluded that a premixed insulin-pramlintide blend could be an effective way for people with type 1 diabetes to improve their blood glucose control, and that this formulation may offer both greater convenience and greater effectiveness compared with separate insulin and pramlintide injections.
Want to learn more about type 1 diabetes? Read “Type 1 Diabetes Questions and Answers,” “Six Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms You Need to Know” and “Living With Type 1 Diabetes: Four Tips to Get You Started.”