Amylin is a peptide hormone which is co-secreted with insulin from the pancreatic beta-cell. Type 1 diabetic individuals and some Type 2 diabetic individuals are characterised by amylin deficiency. Animal experiments have revealed several actions of amylin on intermediary metabolism, of these some have been demonstrated to be of potential physiological relevance in humans. In particular amylin appears to have important actions in controlling prandial glucose homeostasis. The peptide hormone inhibits postprandial glucagon secretion and delays gastric emptying thereby modifying postprandial hyperglycaemia in diabetic individuals which presumably adds to overall glycaemic control without a concomitant increase in the number of severe hypoglycaemic episodes. Moreover, amylin acts as a satiety agent. Amylin replacement may therefore improve glycaemic control in diabetes mellitus. However, human amylin exhibits physicochemical properties predisposing the peptide hormone to aggregate and form amyloid fibres, which makes it unsuitable for pharmacological use. A stable analogue, pramlintide, with actions and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties similar to the native peptide has therefore been developed. The efficacy and safety of pramlintide administration to diabetic individuals have been tested in a large number of clinical trials. It is the aim of this review to describe possible (patho)physiological actions of amylin as demonstrated in animal and human models, to discuss the background for potential amylin (analogue) replacement in diabetes mellitus and to review results from clinical trials with the amylin receptor analogue pramlintide.