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25
Aug

Pramlintide may not just be another medication for type 1 and type 2 diabetes but it can also be an aid for losing weight too, says a group of researchers from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences-Worcester/Manchester, Worcester, Manchester and published in the March 2010 issue of the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved pramlintide in March 2005 for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in conjunction with insulin injection. Just like insulin, pramlintide is also an injectable medication for decreasing blood sugar level. It is the synthetic form of amylin, a hormone endogenously produced by the pancreas as a response to the increase blood sugar level after a meal. Amylin can decrease the rate of glucose absorption after a meal as well as inhibit the production of glucose by the liver.

Amylin can also decrease one’s appetite resulting in a lesser caloric intake, according to the said study published by the Annals of Pharmacotherapy. In fact, patients with type 1 diabetes can lose up to 1.7 kilograms per year with pramlintide and type 2 diabetic patients can lose up to 3.7 kilograms only within 16 weeks of continuous use. On the other hand, some preliminary studies show that non-obese patients who use this medication can lose up to 8 kilograms within a year. Most patients tolerate the use of pramlintide for losing weight. However, a few patients may experience nausea with this medication.

Since current studies have a limited number of subject populations, a larger clinical trial is needed to further establish the weight loss effect of pramlintide in the diabetic and non-diabetic overweight and obese population. Is this the next big thing after sibutramine was dropped from the market because of stroke-related issues? Nobody knows…

Reference:

Annals of Pharmacotherapy; The role of pramlintide for weight loss; Dunican, K.C. et al.; March 2010

 

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