Most of the type 1 diabetes patients find it inconvenient to stick with their daily insulin injecting schedule. Hence, studies have been conducted to find an alternative for insulin injections. Researchers now believe that ‘inhaled insulin’ may be a potential new way to administer meal-related insulin, hence eliminating the need for preprandial insulin injections.
To observe the efficiency of inhaled insulin treatment, studies were conducted on type 1 diabetes patients. One such study was conducted on 73 patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes. While one group of these patients received preprandial inhaled insulin and an ultralente insulin injection (subcutaneously) at bedtime, patients in the control group were given their daily schedule of 2-3 injections per day. All the patients were asked to check their blood glucose levels four times daily and adjust their insulin doses weekly to achieve a preprandial blood glucose target of 5.6-8.9 mmol/L.
At the end of the study the results did not show significant difference in the blood sugar control over a period of 3 months (HbA1c) in the two groups. Also the changes in fasting and postprandial glucose levels; and the hypoglycemic episodes were similar in both the groups.
However, it was observed that inhaled insulin was well tolerated by the patients and had no adverse effect on lung function. Although studies are still going on to know the long-term efficacy and safety of inhaled insulin, the above study shows that inhaled insulin may be given to type 1 diabetes patients as a less invasive alternative to the conventional preprandial insulin injections.