Your Experience With Symlin


| Sep 27, 2012

The following letter to the editor asks Diabetes Health subscribers to share their experiences with Symlin. If you use Symlin, please tell us about it in the “Comments” section. Have you had more success in managing your diabetes with Symlin?  How has your insurance company treated you regarding your prescription cost?

Hello DH readers,

I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 38 years and have used an insulin pump for the last 11 years.

About a month and a half ago, I began Symlin. So far, so good! My after-meal blood sugars have pretty much been in my target range, and I’m using half the insulin I would normally use for my mealtime bolus!  I’m hoping that I will also experience a little weight loss.

I am interested in hearing about the experience of other people with Symlin, including insurance copays. For my first prescription of two pens, I was socked with a copay of $144! That’s even including the $10 discount I received from the Symlin support group, which is free to all who apply.

Thank you in advance for your replies,


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Categories: Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Magazine, Diabetic, Symlin

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Posted by Anonymous on 27 September 2012

I've been using Symlin for about 3 years. i've had type 1 for 33 years. I, too use half the amount of insulin in my mealtime boluses using Symlin and my post prandial numbers are far better than before I went on the drug. In the beginning, I experienced a lot of nausea after each injection which lead to a modest weight loss. However, when I became acclamated and the nausea disappeared, the couple of pounds I'd lost came right back. The Symlin has made it much easier to maintain A1c levels in the mid 6 range. I love Symlin.

Posted by DCaplinger on 29 September 2012

I was officially given a prescription for Symlin about a year ago, when I first switched to the Endocrinologist I have now. I didn't start taking my Symlin regularly until about a month and a half ago, and let me tell you... it's like night and day.

I was misdiagnosed with Type II Diabetes in December of 2007. Within a few weeks of diagnosis, I was maxed out on the amount of Metformin I could take, and I was still losing weight (I ate like a pig over Christmas, and still lost weight). Something didn't make sense. I early January, I went back to my PCP and asked if she ran an antibody test. She said, "No, only an Endocrinologist would run one of those." So, I responded... "Then I want an Endocrinologist!" I saw the Endo's Physician's Assistant, and he totally agreed with my PCP. Based on my age, I had to be a T2, but he ran the test anyway. I was shocked by the results, I wasn't one of those who had Type 1.5, I was a true Juvenile diabetic (I always acted juvenile, does that count? LOL).

Anyway, ever since I was diagnosed, I've suffered from poor control (I wasn't in control at all). I'd forget to test, forget to take insulin, and forget to take my Symlin. I went months without taking advantage of my Symlin, which is such a shame. I wouldn't get control of my diabetes until a little over a month ago, because I had a test result come back showing I was spilling protein into my urine. Possible kidney damage. I had to risk potential nephropathy before I finally started taking my condition seriously. I take 120mcg 3 times a day before each meal. I haven't had nausea since a short bout with my very first dose back in the day. Even with all the lags in between, I never re-experienced nausea due to the medication. I also wear an insulin pump.

I've not missed a singled dose of insulin, correction bolus, or Symlin since. I've noticed that with Symlin, I use approximately 60 - 90% less insulin on my boluses. It's amazing the differences. Even with something like pancakes, that would easily have sent my numbers spiraling out of control to near 500, I never got above 180! I won't go without Symlin again. I have been speaking its praises to every diabetic I know. I just signed up for the SymlinSupport system (I didn't know about it until today, because I've never bothered reading any of the inserts in the Symlin box).

My current insurance plan pays 100% of everything (after my original $5000 copay was met), so I have no copays for medicines. Before this year, I only paid $20 a month for my copay. If you are a Type I Diabetic, and have problems with regular blood sugar spikes, or with maintaining adequate control (constantly having to give correction shots in between meals), do yourself a favor, and talk to your Endocrinologist about adding Symlin to your treatment program. If you are a Type I still being treated by your PCP, unless they have Type I Diabetes, I highly suggest you request a referral to an Endocrinologist. PCP's are really nice people, but unless they specifically stay up on the latest in diabetes research and treatments, you may be missing out on some really advantageous treatment protocols.

Posted by Glojay on 2 October 2012

I have been using Symlin for about 4 years but at present I am starting to wonder if it really helps my system at all?

Posted by bdurstenfeld on 2 October 2012

JCF, I have been using Symlim for several years, I have Aetna, and I pay $80 for a three month supply. I found that I do not tolerate the recommended 60mcg dose unless my BG is high (>180mg/dl) or my BG falls too QUICKLY. I have not experienced much weight loss, though my weight has stayed steady (+/- 2 lbs). I have experiences ~10% lower dose if novolog. I too use a pump and have for more than 20 years.

Posted by angivan on 3 October 2012

I have used Symlin now for 2 years. Always had an insatiable appetite, what a feeling to feel full after a modest portion! I lost 10 lbs. and have kept it off by using it. Blue Cross covers it no problem. Can only get up to 45 mcg without puking though. But it reduces my insulin about 25%. Love it!

Posted by Anonymous on 5 October 2012

I heard they are still trying to combine Symlin with Insulin so its only one shot or one catheter (pump users). I won't hold my breadth. What about proinsulin?

Posted by Anonymous on 8 October 2012

omg symlin is a wonder drug. The first two weeks of going on it are brutal - flulike symptoms, nausea, feeling exhausted. But if you push past that (building up slowly to the full dose helps!) then it is a major huge awesome drug. With symlin my bgs fell huge and I felt great. I lost appetite and felt full eating half to a 1/3 of what I used to eat, but that feeling wears off after a few months. I lost some weight but not a huge amount. But it is not for everyone, my best friend tried it and although it did lower her numbers she kept crashing and had to drop it. I sometimes get lazy and drop it, but my numbers always start climbing sky high. So my advice, plan to start taking it before a vacation so that you can acclimate/sleep as needed for a week or two and then you will feel SOOO GREAT. The copay for symlin is higher than other diabetes meds, but it is so worth it to feel good and experience the great feelings that come from having your numbers in range!!

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