Friday, September 09, 2005

Inhaled insulin given the go by FDA panel.

Diabetics who must give themselves insulin had better be either not afraid of needles or able to get over it. I've worked with several people who are required to give themselves insulin shots several times a day depending on what they eat. It's a tough situation for those of them who, like me, are seriously scared of poking holes in themselves with a steel pin. So today's announcement of approval by an FDA panel for an inhaled delivery system for insulin is some welcome news.

The stuff's called "Exubera" and it's just what I described: insulin that is inhaled rather than injected.

::::::::Federal health advisers yesterday recommended government approval of the first inhaled form of insulin, offering some diabetics an alternative to many of their daily injections.

The recommendation by a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel was made despite questions about use of the drug among people who have lung disease or were exposed to secondhand smoke.

No specific restrictions were recommended for Exubera, but FDA officials said smokers probably would not be able to use the drug. Their blood sugar level could fall dangerously low with Exubera because they absorb much more inhaled insulin in their lungs than do nonsmokers.

Just another reason to not smoke, I suppose. While I'm sure it won't work for everyone, it will surely work for some folks and that's a step in the right direction. I hope it works out.