Inhaled Insulin

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel in a 7-2 vote recommended that an inhaled form of insulin called Exubera, be approved as an alternative to injections for diabetics. While some doctors are saying that the new product would help diabetics treat their illness more effectively, others have questions about the long term effects of inhaling insulin.

Some diabetics, especially those with Type 1 diabetes, take up to four shots a day, one 24 hour dose and one shot prior to breakfast, lunch and dinner. Inhaled insulin could help reduce the number of injections, particularly the rapid acting doses taken before meals, and persuade diabetics who are tired or scared of needles to take their medicine.

The FDA is likely to follow the panel's recommendation and approve the drug for use. Diabetics who are smokers or who have asthma will likely not be able to use the new drug. Pfizer, the company producing Exubera, promises to conduct long term studies to assess the long term impact of inhaled insulin use.

Diabetes affects more than 18 million Americans according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Joe's picture
Joe says:

The FDA has approved inhaled insulin for diabetics. Check out the story on

posted on Fri, 01/27/2006 - 6:14pm
Ubaxer's picture
Ubaxer says:

Hey... may see: about insulin inhaled

posted on Fri, 05/12/2006 - 10:57am

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