Inhaled Insulin Gains Advisory Board Recommendation

Afrezza, an inhaled form of insulin, has recently received the approval of a governmental advisory committee that recommends new drugs to the Food and Drug Administration, according to the New York Times.

About the Drug

The inhaler is a rapid action form of mealtime insulin. The drug is taken through a small, whistle shaped inhaler into the lungs where it disperses into the blood stream. The drug gained recommendation for the effective treatment of both Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes in adults. The FDA usually approves products recommended by the advisory committee for public use.

Afrezza is developed by the MannKind Corporation. It has sought FDA approval twice before, but the committee required the company to gather more clinical data about the safety and efficacy of the drug. The drug company Pfizer had released an inhaled form of insulin in 2006 called Exubera, but it didn’t take hold with the public.

The makers of Afrezza say their inhaler is different because its small size makes it more user-friendly. They propose that the drug may be useful for Type-1 diabetes sufferers who are weary from multiple insulin injections throughout the day, as well for those who are newly diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes but who are resistant to trying insulin injections.

While the advisory committee agreed that the drug would be useful for some patients, they also agreed that it wasn’t as effective in managing insulin levels as some other treatments.

Facts About Diabetes

Afrezza may be of interest to the millions of Americans who suffer from what many doctors consider an epidemic. Here are some facts about diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association,

    • Type-2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in the United States, though there are also cases of gestational diabetes and type-1 diabetes. In Type-2, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin to break down glucose in cells, or the cells do not respond to the insulin that the body produces.

    • Type-2 diabetes affects one in every ten adult Americans. It is often linked to obesity levels, and its prevalence has doubled in the last 25 years.

  • Those with type-2 diabetes must learn to effectively manage their blood sugar levels through appropriate diet and drugs. Uncontrolled diabetes can eventually affect the kidney, nerves, and heart.

Symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes can include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling very thirsty and hungry, despite eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Slow healing cuts and bruises

Those who have type-2 diabetes may also have tingling, pain or numbness in their hands and feet, while those with Type-1 diabetes may have unexplained weight loss.

At Accent MD, we are committed to the highest level of care for those with diabetes. We offer a wide range of services to help our patients meet their blood sugar goals, including insulin pump therapy and continuous glucose monitoring.

We’re here to work with diabetes patients and their primary care providers. Call our Gainesville office to schedule an appointment.