San Diego

Inhalable Insulin Gains Traction Among Physicians

The drug isn't approved for kids under 18-years-old and won't work for people with lung problems, such as asthma

For years people have injected insulin to treat diabetes, but now, thanks to medical advances, people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can also inhale insulin.

A powdered medicine called Afrezza hit the market roughly two years ago but is just now gaining traction with doctors.

Steven Edelman, MD, an Endocrinologist at the University of California, San Diego calls the product a "game changer" because it’s easier to use and delivers the insulin in a way that more closely mimics a normal working pancreas.

It’s "rapid on, rapid off" characteristics keep patients from experiencing highs and lows.

“It works super quickly to control your blood sugars after eating and it gets out of your system, which is super important because if you still have insulin on board for several hours like the injected insulin has, you get problems with low blood sugar later on," Edelman said.

Edelman added Afrezza dissipates in about an hour and half, compared to four or five hours from an insulin injection.

The drug isn't approved for kids under 18-years-old and won't work for people with lung problems, such as asthma.

Edelman is a big believer in the inhalable insulin based on professional experience, but also personal experience.

He was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as a teenager and now uses it regularly with great results.

Along with practicing medicine, he formed the non-profit Taking Control Of Your Diabetes (TCOYD)  roughly 20 years ago with the goal of bringing medical advances straight to the consumer.

“Anytime you introduce a medication to American medicine, probably true in other areas, it takes years and years and years for physicians to learn about it," said Edelman.

TCOYD will host a conference for adults with Type 1 Diabetes June 23 to June 25 at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina San Diego.

The conference will lay out the latest medical information for people with Type 1 Diabetes which includes inhalable insulin.

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