Alternative to injections released in the US

Sanofi launched an inhalable insulin called Afrezza in the United States on Tuesday, 3 February which may enhance quality of life for people living with diabetes. The idea is that inhaling the substance promises to be faster acting and more convenient than injections.

“We are excited for patients, as we believe that Afrezza’s distinct profile and non-injectable administration will address many of their unmet needs for mealtime insulin therapy, and has the potential to change the way that diabetes is treated. We thank the more than 6,500 adult patients and healthy volunteers who participated in the Afrezza clinical program,” said Alfred Mann, Chief Executive Officer, MannKind Corporation.

This is the Afrezza inhaler with cartridges containing insulin powder.

However, there are risks associated with the new drug developed by MannKind Corporation with concerns for potential risk associated with breathing powdered insulin. One of the potential pitfalls for patients using the drug includes regular lung function tests to monitor their health.

The rapid-acting insulin, which doesn’t need refrigeration, is designed as a pre-meal insulin for adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It targets post-meal blood glucose spikes and peaks within 12 to 15 minutes and declines to baseline within approximately 180 minutes.

The product is delivered using a small, discreet and easy-to-use inhaler.

Administered at the start of a meal, Afrezza dissolves rapidly upon inhalation to the deep lung and delivers insulin quickly to the bloodstream.

“We’re looking forward to seeing more long-term research on this product, and provided it proves to be safe and effective in current clinical trials, we would hope it will be introduced in Australia at some point,” said Diabetes Educator Shannon Lin.

Afrezza is not recommended for patients with chronic lung disease such as asthma, or those suffering from certain complications, it is also not recommended for smokers of recent ex-smokers.

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