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Question:

From Russia:

I have a friend (a boy about 10) who has Type 1 diabetes. It is very difficult to get some information about methods of treatment. And because my friend is a little boy, it would be easier to give him insulin orally. So please send me information about oral insulin injection (names of drugs) and, if it is possible, web-addresses of sites containing such information.

Answer:

Almost from the time that insulin was first discovered, investigators have been trying to find ways of administering it without injections. Perhaps the most popular approach has been a nasal spray. This does work, but it needs far more insulin than by infection and as you can imagine it doesn't work so well when you have a cold. In addition to all these disadvantages, the apparatus for giving the insulin is rather cumbersome and expensive. Insulin has also been given in capsules that resist the digestive enzymes in the stomach, but again the absorption is uncertain and much larger doses are required than by injection. In more recent years there have been air pressure injectors but these are very expensive, they sting almost as much as an injection and maintenance is difficult.

Until transplants of some kind become feasible, and as long as your friend continues to need insulin, he is going to have to take insulin by injection. But if he can obtain the Ultra-Fine Becton Dickenson syringes or the Japanese ones made by Terumo the discomfort of injections can be minimal and the same is true of the various pen devices that are made available through the major insulin manufacturers.

DO'B

Original posting 3 Apr 1998
Posted to Insulin

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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