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15+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2004
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I was reading the Canadian edition of the most recent Reader's Digest when I came across a news item which said that a new form of insulin delivery has recently been developed.

This inhaled form of insulin, Exubera,is a rapid-acting insulin which is effective for both forms of diabetes. It will eliminate the painstaking task many diabetics have to tolerate with their daily subcutaneous insulin injections. However, there have been concerns in regards to the long term effects of this medication on pulmonary function so it has been contraindicated in those individuals afflicted with asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema. It will be available sometime this year.

Compared with patients who received only insulin injections, patients receiving Exubera experienced significant reductions in both fasting plasma glucose levels (blood glucose measured before breakfast) and two-hour post-prandial glucose levels (blood glucose measured after meals). Patients also preferred using Exubera, were more satisfied with their overall treatment and showed greater improvements in symptoms and cognitive function (assessed by the Diabetes Quality of Life and Treatment Satisfaction questionnaire).

Blue Dog

Fides et ratio.
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2006
Attending Physician
Potential downsides:

1) It will undoubtedly be very expensive compared to insulin (prices not yet available).
2) The administration device is large and cumbersome (see photo). This may make it more difficult to take it with you when you travel compared to an insulin pen, and it will be more difficult to use it discreetly.
3) Fingersticks are still needed for glucose monitoring.
4) The aforementioned pulmonary side effects are, IMO, nothing to sneeze at.

I'm holding back my "exuberance" until this proves itself over time.



Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2005
I agree with most of what KentW is really big & cumbersome - I've seen it. It makes it extremely difficult for the student with a backpack, woman with a purse or a man's coat pocket. I think the public is used to people with inhalers, but this is bigger than a traditional inhaler. is really great for the international traveler. I have some pts who I must label EVERYTHING & I mean - everything or it won't get thru customs in some countries. I have to get pen needles, pens, lancets, vials, etc all labeled so it will pass thru customs & the screening. It doesn't happen in every country & rarely anymore for interstate travel. For inhalers such as this...I label the inhaler & its good. doesn't take the place of all insulin. They still need the longer acting, if they are on one, which requires all the other paraphenalia.

Insulin delivery is just plain expensive. A box of test strips costs approx $85 & if a pt tests 4x/day - that lasts less than a month. I have some diabetics who test 10x/day. The insulin is just one part. I forsee this delivery will require prior auths for a few months - 1 year - similar to the pens until it really finds its place in the whole delivery of insulin market. I agree - we'll see if it takes off or not.....I have my doubts.