Readers occasionally ask us for advice about drugs they are taking. When they do, we refer their questions to a medical professional. In the question below, a Florida reader expresses concerns about the interaction of her diabetes drug with the medicines she takes for asthma.
Does asthma boost your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease? A new review of years of medical records suggests that it does. Minnesota's Mayo clinic conducted the study, which looked at heaps of medical records from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. The link was straightforward. People with asthma were more likely to have both diabetes and heart disease than people without the breathing condition.
If you have ever dreamed of taking your insulin without needles, your dream
came true on January 27, 2006. That was when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) approved Exubera (insulin of human [rDNA origin]) Inhalation Powder
for treatment of adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
In a small study conducted by researchers in the Netherlands, a drug normally used to treat asthma and bronchitis helped to improve awareness of hypoglycemia in people with type 1 diabetes. Hypoglycemia unawareness can be a dangerous condition—a person with diabetes who cannot detect an episode of low blood glucose cannot take quick action to correct it.
Research presented September 10 at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes suggests that people with diabetes who have asthma absorb less insulin than non-asthmatic people with diabetes when the drug is inhaled rather than injected.
On May 10, Generex Biotechnology Corp. of Toronto announced it has commenced long-term, phase II clinical trials of its oral insulin. The trials will be conducted in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Two more contenders have stepped into the ring in the fight for inhalable insulin. Eli Lilly and Company and Dura Pharmaceuticals, a supplier for respiratory conditions, are financially uniting efforts to achieve inhalable insulin. Using an undisclosed sum from Lilly, Dura will try to suit its technology for a dry powder inhaler (DPI) for use with insulin.
Before eating lunch at a restaurant, Jim loads his foil packs of insulin into a device about the size of a large flashlight. He then presses a button which releases a cloud of insulin into the clear chamber of the device. He takes a slow, deep draw of powdered insulin into his lungs.
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