February 7, 2015

Afrezza, Is It the Answer for People with Type 2 Diabetes?

I had not expected to write this, but after seeing this on another blog by Scott Strumello and a comment to it, I felt it was time to open a dialog about it and hopefully see other bloggers write about it.

Several of our support group members have been talking about Afrezza and how they want to see if they will be allowed to use it. Brenda, Allen, and I have decided against it because there is still a big question about determining the correct dose. Tim and Jason are still considering it. Barry has taken a wait and see and warns that it may not even be available to those of us receiving VA benefits. He also wonders if Medicare will allow it.

After reading Scott's blog, we have to wonder from the early hype, will Afrezza even become a product for use in the United States. As of February 3, it supposedly is available in the US, but will every pharmacy carry it.  Currently one local pharmacy has it, but doctors are only prescribing for type 1 diabetes, but not for type 2.  The other pharmacy currently is not carrying Afrezza and offered no reason.  When I first wrote about Afrezza, I had some concerns which are still valid. This has caused me to start listing the pros and cons:

Pros -
  • May help many type 2's that have needle phobia
  • May help type 2's that are afraid of other insulins
  • May be prescribed earlier and not as a medication of last resort
Cons -
  • Acute bronchospasm has been observed in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • No testing has been done for the elderly and health illiterate
  • No testing on people with diabetes that develop pneumonia
  • No testing on people with other respiratory problems that often necessitate oxygen use.
  • Hypoglycemia may become an even greater concern with Afrezza
Afrezza is not recommended for the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis, or in patients who smoke. Even with the hype, there are too many unanswered questions about Afrezza that we have not been provided answers to, as of yet. Many of these questions may be answered after it has been on the market for a period of time.

If you are a person that is using Afrezza, please consider responding to this request at Diabetes Update, as this is one place to put the information to use and spread the word about your results.

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