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Inhaled human insulin (Exubera®): clinical profile and patient considerations

Authors Anthony H Barnett, Sri Bellary

Published 15 March 2007 Volume 2007:3(1) Pages 83—91

Anthony H Barnett, Sri Bellary

University of Birmingham and Heart of England National Health Service Foundation Trust (Teaching), Birmingham, UK

Abstract: Inhaled human insulin (Exubera®) is a rapid-acting regular human insulin administered by oral inhalation before meals. It provides a non-invasive alternative to multiple subcutaneous injections for the treatment of hyperglycemia in adult patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Compared with subcutaneous rapid-acting insulin analogs, Exubera provides equivalent HbA1c control. As a monotherapy or in combination with oral agents, Exubera also provides greater glycemic control than oral agents alone, at least in patients with high levels of HbA1c. Exubera demonstrates improved patient satisfaction compared with subcutaneous insulin or oral agents alone. When offered as a treatment option together with standard treatments in uncontrolled patients naïve to insulin, Exubera increases acceptance of insulin therapy three-fold compared with patients offered standard regimens only. Exubera is well tolerated in comparison to subcutaneous insulin, with a similar incidence of mild to moderate hypoglycemia. Although cough is a common adverse effect early in therapy, this leads to treatment discontinuations in less than 1% of patients. Despite an increased incidence of insulin antibodies compared with subcutaneous administration, and a consistent but minor impact on pulmonary function, long-term safety data of up to 4 years continue to support the safety profile of Exubera.

Keywords: Exubera, inhaled human insulin, hyperglycemia, diabetes

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