Beyond the Shots: Inhaled Insulin
When someone is told they have to use insulin, their mind automatically starts thinking of injections. However, there is a hassle-free way to manage your mealtime blood sugars: inhalation. Inhaled insulin is easy and convenient to use. Continue reading for all of the details!
What Is Afrezza & How Does It Work?
Afrezza is the only inhaled insulin that is FDA approved on the market. It is an ultra-rapid acting insulin, meaning it is used as mealtime insulin. It begins lowering sugar levels in minutes, which means that it can be taken at the time of a meal and not 15 minutes before like most injectable insulins. The device itself is similar to an inhaler and it is only about 3 inches long.You may be wondering, “How do I get the correct dose prescribed by my doctor if I opt for this way?”
Along with the inhalation device itself, Afrezza comes with cartridges of 4, 8, or 12 units of insulin. You can mix and match these to get the dose you need at each meal. Simply load the inhalation device with the cartridge and inhale the contents for 3 seconds. Then hold your breath for a couple of seconds or as long as you are comfortable to give the medication time to begin working. Watch this video for a full explanation of how to load and use the device.
However, do keep in mind that the dose of inhaled insulin is not the same as the injected insulin. Make sure to talk with your healthcare practitioner first if you are wanting to switch.
Benefits & Who Is Eligible To Use
Both patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are eligible to use Afrezza as their mealtime insulin. Afrezza is an easy and convenient way to take your insulin on the go.
Since it works within minutes, there is no need to plan when to take it or wait for it to begin working before eating. It is perfect for those nights out to dinner when your food arrives at the table unexpectedly. The device is small which makes it easily portable. Afrezza makes it simple to manage your blood sugars while doing what you love!
Patients who have COPD, asthma, or those who smoke may not be eligible to be treated with Afrezza.
How To Obtain Afrezza
Afrezza can be found in most retail pharmacies and obtained with a valid prescription. Talk to your doctor about the benefits of taking Afrezza instead of injections. Over 70% of patients with commercial insurance should have coverage of Afrezza, but they also offer manufacturer coupons and a savings program to lower the cost of the medication.
Before starting Afrezza you should have a baseline breathing test performed by your doctor. You should also plan on following up with the doctor soon after starting Afrezza to ensure it is working for you.
Summary Whether you are new to insulin or you have been on it for years, using Afrezza could be more convenient for you! Enjoy your next night out with friends without worrying about injections. Managing your blood sugars is made simple with Afrezza!
Disclaimer: Any information provided is not intended as medical advice. Iowa Diabetes is not responsible for any information from third parties.