Diabetes: A Guide to the Most Recent FDA Approved Drug, Exubera

Diabetes. As the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, diabetes is a disease that will progressively worsen if not properly controlled with diet and, in some cases, medication. With food temptations every day, a diabetic patient may, very often, waiver from the diet regimen and suffer an increase in sugar levels. When considering treatment options for Diabetes Type I or Type II, consult your physician regarding the use of the FDA approved drug called Exubera. With appropriate dosing, monitoring of contraindications and knowledge of side effects, Exubera may be used in lieu of short acting insulin injections.

Exubera, a product of Pfizer approved by the FDA in January of 2005, was designed as a supplementary medication in the treatment of Diabetes Type I and Type II. Unfortunately, no generic is available due to the recent development and placement of the drug on the market however the effectiveness of Exubera is well worth the cost involved with a brand name drug purchase. Exubera contains a short-acting form of insulin that, when inhaled, works to quickly lower blood sugar levels. Exubera is a man-made insulin, in powder substance, inhaled similar to the inhalaer use in a patient with asthma. When inhaled rapidly, the resolution of symptoms occurs much quicker than that of insulin injections. The inhaler, itself, is relatively small in size weighing about four ounces and provides for a “needle-free” treatment plan for the diabetic patient.

Dosing of Exubera “blisters” will vary depending on the need of the patient. To properly administer the medication, the “blister”, or dose, is simply placed into the inhaler at which point the inhaler will open the blister when activated. Exubera, to some extent, is a preventative drug and should be administered 10 minutes before a meal to ensure proper metabolism through the body before the intake of food. It does not, however, prevent diabetes. Exubera is intended to work in combination with standard diabetic medications and supplement the standard medication as a short-acting insulin injection replacement.

Exubera, in the treatment of diabetic symptoms, does not come without side effects. However, most side effects will dissipate as sugar levels are returned to normal. Common side effects may include low or high blood sugar from improper dosing when, if persistent, should be addressed with your physician. However, in addition to continued sugar imbalance, Exubera is also believed to compromise lung capacity. Therefore, before beginning a treatment plan including Exubera, your physician should run a series of lung capacity and respiratory tests to determine the appropriateness of the treatment and the potential impact to the lungs. Smoking is not permitted while on Exubera and should not be prescribed to a patient who has smoked in the six months prior to beginning treatment. Additionally, Exubera should not be taken by individuals with a history of lung disease. Some patients may develop pain in the chest or throat. If side effect symptoms, especially chest pain or sugar levels fluctuations are severe, consult your physician immediately as in very rare cases further complications may ensue.

As with any disease, prevention is the key to maintaining good health. If you are suffer from either Type I or Type II Diabetes, controlling diet and pursuing adequate exercise are the keys to maintaining good health. When medication regimens are in order, consult your physician for more information on treatment options to supplement your diabetes treatment program including the use of Exubera.

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