A new inhaled insulin has been approved by the FDA for adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Afrezza is packaged in the form of cartridges, each of which contains 4 or 8 units of insulin. The insulin is inhaled from the dry-powder inhaler at the beginning of a meal. Afrezza is currently the only inhaled form of insulin that is currently available in the US. Unwanted adverse effects of Afrezza include throat pain, cough, and hypoglycemia. Patients with chronic lung diseases, such as asthma or COPD, are not able to take Afrezza due to increased risk of bronchospasm. Additionally, smokers should not take Afrezza, including smokers who have quit within the past 6 months.
“An Inhaled Insulin (Afrezza)” JAMA. 2015;313(21):2176-2177. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.5634.