In addition to insulin, two other types of shots are available for diabetes treatment. Like insulin and diabetes pills, these shots help lower blood sugar. They are an option for people who have not been able to control their blood sugar using other medications.
Pramlintide can help in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Pramlintide is a synthetic form of a natural hormone, called amylin, which is involved in regulating blood sugar. It's used along with insulin, although the two medications can't be combined in a single syringe. Pramlintide is sold under the brand name Symlin.
Exenatide is for people with type 2 diabetes. It causes the pancreas to release more insulin, which brings blood sugar levels down. It's FDA approved for type 2 diabetics who have already tried diabetes pills but have not been able to achieve satisfactory blood sugar levels. Exenatide is available under the brand name Byetta.
Written by Beth Seltzer, MD
Last updated June 2008