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Health

Insulin inhaler may replace injections

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RELATED VIDEO
CNN Medical Correspondent Dr. Steve Salvatore reports on the oral insulin in trials with the FDA.
Windows Media 28K 80K

May 7, 1999
Web posted at: 4:42 p.m. EDT (2042 GMT)

(CNN) -- Thanks to a new insulin inhaler, researchers say, the daily injections many diabetics take may become relics of the past.

Nearly 16 million Americans suffer from diabetes. One of every 10 of those take insulin to control their blood sugar, sometimes requiring multiple painful injections each day. The new inhaler by Generex may make their lives easier.

The inhaler sprays insulin out into the mouth like a mist, which coats the membranes of the mouth, throat and tongue. The insulin then passes quickly through the membranes into the bloodstream.

Researchers say patients overwhelmingly prefer the new device. They hope the inhaler can help diabetics who have an aversion to injections.

Currently, the only way to limit insulin injections is to use an insulin pump. The pump is a beeper-like device, worn on the hip, that attaches to a catheter implanted under the skin. But even pump-wearers require an injection every two to three days.

The new insulin inhaler is in phase two clinical trials. If all goes well, the Food and Drug Administration could put it on a fast track for approval, making it available on the market in less than two years.



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