Insulin injections may soon be just a bad memory. What was previously a sweet dream come true with a new drug about to be put on the market? A prospect greeted with enthusiasm by patients with diabetes and with caution by doctors.
Complications related to uncontrolled diabetes or poorly controlled ranging from cardiovascular disease to renal failure through blindness. To avoid them, some patients must use insulin injections under the skin. However, diabetics may soon have to use insulin spray.
An idea that does not lack air.
Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas. Its action is necessary to use sugar (glucose) by body cells. For patients with type one diabetes, the use of insulin is essential. In the case of type two diabetes, this type of treatment remains rare. For several years, the development of long-acting insulin, the syringes with fine needles or pens to disposable or rechargeable batteries have increased patient comfort.
Despite these many advances, it remains a binding mode of administration. Thus, the idea of administering insulin aerosol has made its way. However, the dose absorbed via the lungs was far too weak to be effective. Today, a new system overcomes this problem.
A new method of administration
Of large molecules like insulin can hardly be administered orally. They are destroyed before being assimilated into the bloodstream. The mode of administration by aerosols has many advantages. Insulin is found in the lungs as millions of tiny particles and can reach the bloodstream. The first born of these insulins is the result of a joint development program between Sanofi-Events and Pfizer. Called Exubera ®, the fast-acting insulin to be inhaled using a special device containing a dose blister thermoperfore and an inhaler. Before you start using this product, the physician should explain the proper use of this device. It will determine the initial doses and administration times, depending on the response and the patient's needs (e.g. diet, physical activity and lifestyle). Exubera ® should be administered within 10 minutes before the start of the meal.
Authorized by the European Medicines Agency in January 2006, this product can be used for the treatment of type two diabetes in adults inadequately controlled with oral antidiabetic agents. Exubera ® can be also used in certain adults with type one diabetes, in which the passage of a subcutaneous insulin rapid-acting inhaled insulin this could be beneficial, given the potential risks.
More restrictive indications
Some side effects were noted during the various studies of this drug. The most common were hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) and cough. However, the mode of administration may be problematic for some patients:
Smokers must have stopped smoking at least six months before starting treatment with Exubera ® and not to return under pain of change treatment;
For patients with low or unstable lung function, such as asthma, emphysema or chronic bronchitis, you should not use Exubera ®;
Exubera ® should not be used in people who may be hypersensitive (allergic) to human insulin or any other ingredients.
Finally, the development of insulin antibodies (proteins produced in response to treatment with Exubera ®) in some patients requires special surveillance today that the laboratory is committed to implementing.
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