University of Illinois Extension

What are Incretins and Amylins?

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Incretins and Amylins are both naturally produced hormones that have different actions to control blood glucose.  In addition to insulin and glucagon, these hormones can also have decreased action or effectiveness in diabetes.

  • Incretin Mimetics: Exenatide (Byetta™) is an injected medication that mimics the action of incretin.  A doctor may prescribe exenatide for patients with type 2 diabetes who have not achieved glucose target goals using metformin, a sulfonylurea, or both (see next section for information on these medications). 
  • Dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 inhibitors: Sitagliptin (Januvia™) is an oral medication that increases the concentration of incretin hormones in patients with type 2 diabetes.  This medication may help lower fasting blood glucose and blood glucose after meals.  A doctor may prescribe sitagliptin alone or in combination with metformin or thiozolidinedione (see next section for information on these medications).
  • Amylin Analog: Pramlintide (Smylin™) is a synthetic hormone of amylin that is given by injection.  A doctor may prescribe pramlitintide if a person who takes insulin to control blood sugars after meals is not reaching desired blood glucose goals.  It can be used in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

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This document is a source of information only, and is not medical advice.