Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Inhaled Insulin Appeals to Diabetes Patients

More Would Take Insulin if Inhaler Approved, Company-Funded Study Shows

Excuses, Excuses

Freemantle hears this often from the diabetes doctors he works with.

"Oh, the avoidance techniques patients use when their doctors suggest a switch from oral drugs to insulin," he says. They say, 'I'll improve my diet,' or, 'I am going through a difficult time right now,' or 'I will get better.' It leaves a doctor with a sense of powerlessness. If doctors can offer patients something different, like inhaled insulin, it gives them a bit of new ammunition to tackle this problem."

Barrett notes that inhaled insulin won't just be used by those starting insulin therapy. It might also be used by people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes already on injection insulin. When in a social situation at mealtime, a person could use an inhaler instead of a needle to get the insulin dose they need for blood-sugar control. Or, the inhaler could simply offer a break to people taking three to five insulin shots a day.

"I've asked those people, 'Given that you've been taking insulin injections for 10-15 years, if given the chance to inhale some of your insulin doses, would you?' Most say, 'Great, sometimes I'd rather take the inhalation,'" Barrett says.

And Barrett notes that inhalation insulin might be more acceptable than insulin shots for children with type 1 diabetes.

Safety of Inhalation Insulin Still Not Proved

Nobody will be taking inhalation insulin if it isn't safe. So far, there haven't been any major safety problems with inhaled insulin. But insulin isn't a short-term treatment. Patients take it for the rest of their lives. That is why the FDA is taking a hard look at safety data on Exubera.

Meanwhile, Freemantle's team is continuing their study. Instead of merely asking patients whether they would take inhaled insulin, they're now actually offering them the chance to take it. It remains to be seen whether patients really do what they say they will do.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
kenneth fujioka, md
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Article
 
Middle aged person
Tool
jennie brand miller
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
feet
Slideshow