Insulin Spray May Offer Alternative to Shots
Oralin May Help People With Diabetes Keep Blood Sugar Under Control
WebMD News Archive
June 16, 2004 -- An experimental oral insulin spray may soon
provide an alterative to insulin shots for people with type 2 diabetes to help
them keep their blood sugar under control.
A new study shows taking Oralin insulin spray with a
conventional diabetes medication significantly reduced blood sugar levels after
eating a meal. Controlling blood sugar levels after meals can help delay or
prevent the complications associated with diabetes.
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is one of the goals of
treatment for people with type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas
either does not produce enough insulin or the body becomes resistant to
Insulin Spray Helps Control Blood Sugar
Researchers say many people with diabetes don't have their
condition adequately under control because they are reluctant to inject insulin
often enough to keep their blood sugar levels within a healthy range. Failure
to control blood sugar levels can increase the risk of complications, such as
blindness, kidney failure, loss of limb, heart attack, and stroke.
Rather than using a syringe and needle to deliver insulin to
the body, Oralin uses a device that's similar to an asthma inhaler to deliver
small bubbles of insulin through the mouth. The user takes a few puffs from the
device and the insulin quickly enters the bloodstream.
In the study, researchers looked at how effective Oralin
insulin spray was compared with Glucophage pills in controlling blood sugar
levels after eating.
The study was presented this week at the Endocrine Society's
86th Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
The study involved 29 people with type 2 diabetes who had been
receiving Glucophage. Glucophage lowers blood sugar levels by sensitizing the
body to insulin.
Participants received Glucophage and either Oralin spray or a
placebo spray before drinking a liquid breakfast containing 360 calories.
The study showed that blood sugar levels were 40% lower two
hours after the meal among those who had received Glucophage plus Oralin
compared with patients who received Glucophage plus the placebo.
In addition, insulin levels rose higher and more rapidly among
those who took Oralin.
Oralin has not been approved for use by the FDA and is
currently under investigation in clinical trials.
The study was funded by Generex Biotechnology, which produces