Diabetics are elated to note that scientists are developing inhalable insulin to keep their blood glucose in check. Type 2 diabetics can often manage their blood sugar with diet, weight management, and other healthy lifestyle habits, but Type 1 diabetes have had no choice but to use injectable insulin.
The new drug, manufactured by MannKind Corp., Afreeza, small device resembling an asthma inhaler, will enable diabetics to avoid painful needle sticks and insulin injections. The new drug works by binding to an inert powder, which is then inhaled and absorbed through the lungs.
Whether it’s replacing the insulin that a Type 1 diabetic’s body isn’t producing or keeping glucose levels of a Type 2 diabetic in the desired range, insulin therapy plays a vital role in the management of this disease.
Insulin is a natural hormone that regulates sugar within the bloodstream and stores excess glucose for energy for use by cells and tissues that need it. In Type 1 diabetics, too little insulin is secreted by the pancreas (requiring medication), while Type 2 diabetics develop a resistance to the insulin it their bodies produce so it is used less effectively.
As a result, glucose in the bloodstream rises, increasing the risk for complications like blindness, nerve damage, and kidney damage. This is where insulin therapy comes in.
Type 2 diabetes patients can manage their diabetes with non-insulin medication but for Type 1, it’s always been insulin which has always been injectable.
Afreeza, ultra-rapid acting insulin, will encourage patients to give themselves correct doses of insulin compared to injectable insulin. Injectable insulin works very well but it lasts for hours and hours thus causing extremely low blood sugar levels.
Another major advantage of Afreeza is that it can be tailored to a particular diabetic’s individual needs. In the event, the dose of insulin that patients gave themselves wasn’t enough; they can always give themselves an extra dose. That can help prevent a fluctuation in the blood sugar. This flexibility is not possible with an injectable medication.”
Afrezza, approved in 2014 by the FDA, is available by prescription. Indeed, Afrezza] is a real game changer for type 1.