Diabetes Self-Management Blog

Inhaled insulin (brand name Exubera) has been getting some negative press lately, focusing on its high price, large inhaler, slow sales, and concerns about its effects on lung function. While the results of a new study may not be able to do much to address the first three issues, they have shown inhaled insulin to be safe for the lungs and effective for diabetes management over a two-year period of use.

The study, which is published in this month’s issue of the journal Diabetes Care, enrolled 582 adults with Type 1 diabetes. Participants were randomly assigned to use either inhaled insulin or injections of short-acting Regular insulin or the rapid-acting insulin analogs insulin lispro (Humalog) or insulin aspart (NovoLog) before meals. All participants also injected basal, or background, insulin (NPH, Ultralente, or insulin glargine [Lantus]) once or twice a day.

The researchers tested participants’ lung function throughout the study and found that both groups experienced small declines within the first three months. The decline observed in the inhaled insulin group was larger. However, neither group experienced a drop in lung function of more than 2%, and deterioration did not progress in either group for the rest of the study period (two years). The inhaled insulin group also experienced more coughing than the injected insulin group (38% vs. 13%). Rates of other side effects were similar between the two groups.

Blood glucose control was also similar between the two groups, and both groups had similar rates of hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose. However, the inhaled insulin group had fewer episodes of severe hypoglycemia (very low blood glucose) and also gained less weight than the injected insulin group.

The researchers concluded that inhaled insulin was safe for the lungs and efficient for diabetes management in adults with Type 1 diabetes over the two-year period. This study is actually part of a longer-term study that will follow the two groups for a total of 5.5 years to provide more data about the safety and effectiveness of inhaled insulin over the long term.


  1. There are no comments at this time.

Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of Madavor Media, LLC., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.

Type 1 Diabetes
Double Down (10/24/14)
Students With Diabetes Now Accepting 2015 Internship Applications (09/22/14)
We're Getting There…Eventually (09/12/14)
BMX Camp for Kids With Type 1 Diabetes (07/31/14)

Insulin & Other Injected Drugs
New Weekly Type 2 Diabetes Drug Approved (09/26/14)
Dispelling the Myths of Insulin Therapy (08/01/14)
Insulin for Type 2 (07/14/14)
FDA Approves Inhalable Insulin (07/03/14)

Diabetes News
FDA Approves Remote Glucose-Monitoring Technology (10/24/14)
Can Grapefruit Juice Prevent Weight Gain, Increase Insulin Sensitivity? (10/16/14)
Low-Carb Diet Improves Quality of Life in Type 2 Diabetes (10/07/14)
Long Hours at Low-Income Jobs Linked to Increased Diabetes Risk (10/02/14)



Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.