Inhaled Insulin May Help Treat T2 Diabetes
By Mike Boyle


According to a new study among patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, inhaled insulin proved to be as effective at lowering blood sugar levels as standard insulin injection treatment, and with minimal side effects, reports WebMD.

Citing reporting from a recent American Diabetes Association meeting and in The Lancet, WebMD says researchers compared two approaches to managing type 2 diabetes among patients ages 18 to 80 from 10 different countries. The patients were nonsmokers and had poor control of blood sugar despite insulin therapy.

For the study, a total of 211 patients received inhaled insulin plus insulin glargine, a long-lasting form of insulin taken by injection, before bedtime to help manage blood sugar. They were compared with a comparison group of 237 patients who did not use the inhaler, but received insulin injections instead.

One year after treatment, the researchers found that blood sugar levels were similar in the two groups; 22% of patients in the inhaled insulin/insulin glargine group reached a goal A1c level of 7% or less while 27% of those solely on insulin injections reached the goal.

"Our findings show that inhaled insulin plus insulin glargine, alone or in combination with an oral antidiabetes drug such as metformin, is an effective alternative to conventional insulin therapy (biaspart insulin) in uncontrolled type 2 diabetes," study researcher Julio Rosenstock, MD, said. "Inhaled insulin could provide improved blood sugar control with lower weight gain and rates of hypoglycemia in many individuals with type 2 diabetes."

Read much more on this study from WebMD, including other findings the researchers noted one year after study participants received the treatment.

You can also read a summary of the study from The Lancet.

And in related news, DiabetesCare.net recently reported that several insulin pills are currently are in various stages of clinical trials.


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Originally posted June 25, 2010.