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Symlin Promising as Weight Loss Drug

Symlin, or pramlintide, is synthetic amylin, a natural hormone thatslows stomach emptying and leads to a feeling of fullness. CurrentlySymlin is used to dampen blood sugar rises in people with diabetes,but it's showing potential as a weight loss drug as well, accordingto a recent study.

The researchers examined 204 obese subjects for sixteen weeks,half of whom received Symlin injections thrice daily before mealsand half of whom were given a placebo on the same schedule.

About 31 percent of the Symlin group lost five percent or more oftheir weight, compared to only two percent of the placebo group. Onaverage, they lost about eight pounds. Furthermore, 72 percent ofthem said that their appetite control had improved, versus 31percent of the placebo group, and 52 percent said their wellbeinghad improved, versus only 17 percent of the placebo patients.

Symlin has not yet been approved as a weight loss drug. It isapproved as an add-on treatment for people with type 1 who fail toreach glucose control on optimal insulin therapy, or for type 2s whofail to reach glucose control on optimal insulin therapy, with orwithout concurrent use of metformin or a sulfonylurea. It requires aprescription from your doctor, and insurance often doesn't pay forit. The average wholesale price is about $99 to $179 per month.

Sources: Medline Plus; Journal of Clinical Endocrinology andMetabolism, August 2007

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