Endocrine System Channel
Related Channels

Inhaled Insulin


Several studies have looked at the effects of inhaled insulin on type 1 and type 2 diabetes, especially with regards to hemoglobin A1c and fasting blood glucose.
Hemoglobin A1c
Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a test used to measure long-term control of blood sugar. For people without diabetes, HbA1c results are usually less than 6 percent, while people with diabetes usually have higher levels. People with diabetes who have better control over their blood sugar have lower HbA1c levels. In one study of people with type 2 diabetes taking inhaled insulin, HbA1c levels dropped by 4 percent, while people taking oral medications for diabetes decreased their HbA1c levels by only 0.2 percent. In studies on type 1 diabetes, people taking inhaled insulin and people taking regular, injectable insulin showed similar decreases in HbA1c levels.
Fasting Blood Glucose
Fasting blood glucose (blood sugar levels before a meal) are another good way to evaluate diabetes medications. Inhaled insulin has been shown to lower fasting blood glucose more than oral diabetes medications (in people with type 2 diabetes) or regular injectable insulin (in people with type 1 diabetes).

When and How to Take Inhaled Insulin

General considerations for when and how to take the medication include the following:
  • Inhaled insulin comes in blister packets that contain the powder. These packets must be used in the inhaler.
  • Several steps are involved in using the inhaler. Your inhaler will come with detailed instructions. Make sure that your healthcare provider shows you exactly how to use it.
  • You will inhale the powder into your lungs by breathing it in with a normal breath and then holding your breath for five seconds.
  • This medication works quickly; you should take it within 10 minutes before a meal. Taking it more than 10 minutes before a meal could increase your chance of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If you skip a meal, you should also skip that dose.
  • You may need to use more than one blister packet in order to get the right dose. However, three 1-mg blisters do not equal one 3-mg blister (in studies, people who used three 1-mg blisters absorbed more insulin than people who used one 3-mg blister). Unfortunately, inhaled insulin comes in packages with both 1-mg and 3-mg blisters (you cannot buy them separately at this time), and you may have extra blisters that you cannot use.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be used as prescribed. It will not work if you stop using it.
7 Signs of High Blood Sugar

Inhaled Insulin (Exubera)

Terms of Use
Advertise with Us
Contact Us
About eMedTV
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2006-2019 Clinaero, Inc.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.