Pros and Cons of Using a Patch Pump For Diabetes Treatment
Reprinted with permission of Amy Tenderich of DiabetesMine.com
I noticed a lot of chatter of late on diabetes forum sites about Symlin use. Some are still on the fence about trying this synthetic form of the human hormone Amylin, normally made by the beta cells, which helps level out post-meal glucose peaks. Others are just grateful that it's now available in a convenient injection pen.
In early June, Amylin reported results of a study using Symlin with 112 patients with Type 2 diabetes, which rather surprised me, as I originally thought this drug was aimed at Type 1s only. Checking the company's website, I see that they now list Type 2 as their first target audience. Economically, this makes a lot of sense. But according to this article, Symlin remains appropriate only for patients who are already taking insulin. The balancing act between Symlin doses and insulin doses is a delicate one. And it's none-too-convenient carrying all that gear around, either.
So what if you could administer Symlin using a patch pump like the one being developed by Valeritas? I heard a rumor that this is under consideration. The way I see it, there are some significant pros and cons:
* small, disposable device you wear for 24 hours at a time
* as easy to apply as a Band-AID, they say (no cannula, uses microneedles)
* no syringes or injection pen supplies to carry around
* a "no-brainer" as all you do is push a button when you're ready to dose
* wearing something stuck to your body all the time (still an issue for many people)
* you still have to fill it and stick it on every single day
* is it possible to push the dosing button by accident? Somehow that worries me
* disposable unit doesn't seem too green
What do you all think? Would you be enthusiastic about Symlin in a small, disposable patch pump?
btw, if you're wondering why I've never discussed trying Symlin, it's simple: it took me years to achieve a settled stomach, so I'm not up for anything that might mess with gastric emptying. That said, never say never. If I ever got desperate to lower my postprandials, I might just hop the Symlin train after all.