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A new form of insulin therapy is about to become available for type I diabetic patients.  For those Type I diabetic patients who are tired of frequent glucose injections or being tethered to an insulin pump, this new drug could be the answer.  Afrezza is an inhalable form of insulin that can substitute for short acting insulin.  Its onset of action is similar to Lispro rapid acting insulin.  It is administered by oral inhalation and the dose is determined by using combinations of 4 Unit and 8 Unit doses so that doses of 4,8,12, 16,20 and 24 units can be achieved.  Afrezza can cause bronchospasm, and therefore should not be used in patients with asthma or COPD.  There were also reports of lung cancer is Afrezza users in clinical trials and no lung cancer in the placebo group.  The numbers were small and the patients were smokers who got lung cancer so there is uncertainty whether Afrezza can increase the risk of lung cancer.  Afrezza is not recommended for patients who smoke or who have recently quit smoking.  Afrezza cannot substitute for Long Acting Insulin.  Adverse effects of Afrezza, besides bronchospasm, can be hypoglycemia and Ketoacidosis.  Careful monitoring of capillary fingersitck glucose readings is recommended to monitor for the development of hypoglycemia or elevated glucose that could be associated with the development of Ketoacidosis.  Other reported side effects include cough, throat pain, headache, diarrhea, tiredness and nausea.  Links to more information are available below:

Afrezza URL address of official webpage

https://www.afrezza.com/?WT.mc_id=AFZCO20936WB&WT.srch=1&iq_id=76365233-VQ6-64073209139-VQ15-1t1-VQ16-c

Inhaled Insulin:  A breath of Fresh Air?  A Review of Inhaled Insulin

http://www.clinicaltherapeutics.com/article/S0149-2918(14)00389-0/abstract?cc=y

Full Prescribing Information

http://products.sanofi.us/afrezza/afrezza.pdf

 

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