In case you are unfamiliar with Afrezza, let’s recap a bit on exactly what the product is, and why this announcement that the marketers of Afrezza, Mannkind, have decided to market their product to those with Type 1 diabetes.
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What is Afrezza?
Afrezza is an FDA approved inhaled insulin, the only one on the market, that works to control the blood sugar levels in adult diabetics during their mealtimes. It is a fast acting insulin that can help to provide better glucose control and A1C numbers. It reaches its peak usage at 12-15 minutes but may remain active in the body for up to 3 hours.
Mealtime insulin handles any blood glucose spikes initially from food in the body. Afreza is taken in through the mouth as an inhalant. When taken at mealtime it provides you with fast absorption into your body through passage in the lungs.
Afrezza is not recommended for those with lung conditions such as COPD or asthma. It’s always best to speak with a medical professional before making the switch.
Marketing to Type 1’s
So now that we are all familiar with what Afrezza is, let’s take a look at the latest announcement. Afrezza has been on the market and in production for a few years previously being handled by Sanofi, but in January of 2016, Sanofi sold Afrezza to Mannkind.
Initially in the products early stages, many doctors were very reluctant to prescribe the insulin because they believed it could lead to long-term lung problems. Because of this the FDA mandated Mannkind to conduct clinical trials on the risks associated with breathing difficulties.
Sanofi first marketed the insulin to Type 2 diabetes who may be afraid of needles, however the clinical benefits to type 1’s were never addressed by the large drug company. Insulin has been taken the same way since it’s development, by injection. The main benefit other than a needle free introduction into the body, of Afrezza is that it works in five minutes after it is inhaled. It has been shown to shut down the hepatic glucose production, which means the blood glucose in the body does not go up first then come down as it typically does with regular injectable insulin.
There is Still Work to Be Done
Before Afrezza can become a hit with many in the diabetic community there is still plenty of work to be done. Doctors as well as insurance companies and patients need to be educated about the inhaled insulin. It is important to notate that Afrezza will not replace your long lasting insulin, but can be used successfully in replace of meal time or short acting insulin.
What Does This Mean for You?
Whether you are type 1 or type 2, it’s best to talk to your doctor first before taking the step to changing your medication routine.
If you have a needle phobia, or are just interested in lowering the number of shots you have to take daily, Afrezza may be for you. Do your research ahead of time to determine if Afrezza fits into your schedule.