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From New York, USA:

Developments such as pulmonary insulin delivery are very exciting to my 7 year old daughter. How can we get more information on when/where clinical testing is being done and when it will be available for the general public?


The concept that insulin might be administered through an inhaler rather in the way that asthma is treated has enormous appeal.The first serious studies began in Auckland, New Zealand over fifteen years ago; but the apparatus that dispensed the insulin in the very fine droplets that are needed was cumbersome and expensive. It worked however and was useful occasionally in the outpatient management of mild acidosis. The problems were what you might expect. First of all it took about twelve times as much insulin to achieve the same reduction in blood sugar and secondly effectiveness was greatly reduced if there was any evidence of a respiratory infection.

Since that time there have been important advances in the technology of inhaling drugs, not only in very fine droplet form, but also through a small hand held dispenser. At the present time there are at least three separate delivery systems under consideration. There have been initial clinical trials in Miami and Denver and again in Auckland. At the latter site, they are using a a battery-operated piezo electric system to produce the droplets which has the advantage that is operated by patient inspiration.

So far as I know the required clinical trials in childhood have not even begun and I suspect it will be a year or two before systems of this nature can be made sufficiently precise for good control in your daughter's age group. As presently constituted there is still a need for at least five times the amount of the subcutaneous dose.


Original posting 23 Aug 1998
Posted to Research: Other


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