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From the Microsoft Network:

I am interested in the research on an insulin nasal spray. Could you please tell me why those who used it did not complete the study?


When people with diabetes saw how easily asthmatics contained attacks with nasal sprays, it was a great temptation to suppose that insulin might be administered in this way. And indeed there were a number of trials, the best of which was probably conducted in New Zealand. From the beginning however, the apparatus necessary to deliver a droplet that was sufficiently small was cumbersome and expensive. In time that could have been overcome and indeed a good deal of progress was made. More important objections were that much larger amounts of insulin were required than with the conventional subcutaneous route and this was true even when the insulin was combined with inhibitors of proteolytic enzymes. Furthermore, absorption was very variable depending on obvious factors such as environmental humidity and the presence of any mucosal [skin] inflammation.

With much greater emphasis on the importance of control in recent years, episodes of ketoacidosis have become much rarer and also with the advent of ultrafine needles the tedium of injections has been reduced. In short, inhaled insulin has rather faded from the scene and with the further advent of very sophisticated pumps, it will probably not come back.


Original posting 18 Apr 1998
Posted to Research: Other and Insulin


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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