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Inhaled insulin is a form of insulin therapy for people living with type 1 diabetes. It’s an alternative to the traditional method of insulin delivery via injection. Prescribing information recommends that users undergo a lung function test before starting inhaled insulin therapy and periodically during treatment. Brand-name formulations of inhaled insulin approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) include Afrezza.

These insulin therapies work by controlling blood glucose (sugar) levels and are administered through inhalation. Inhaled insulin is fast-acting, and its primary function is to control blood sugar levels during meals. People using inhaled insulin should still continue their long-acting insulin injections for overall blood sugar control.

How do I take it?
Inhaled insulin is typically administered before meals. It’s crucial to follow your health care provider's instructions closely.

Afrezza comes as a powder encased in cartridges. The cartridges must be placed into a special inhaler for dispensing.

Side effects
Common side effects of inhaled insulin include hypoglycemia (low glucose levels), cough and throat irritation, and a potential decrease in lung function.

Rare but serious side effects include lung cancer, severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis, and diabetic ketoacidosis, when the body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones.

For more details about this treatment, visit:

Insulin Human Inhaled (Inhalation Route) — Mayo Clinic

Insulin Basics — American Diabetes Association

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