According to researchers, a new type of insulin that is inhaled rather than injected, is effective even when diabetics have a respiratory infection or are exposed to passive smoke.
Pfizer Inc. recently introduced Exubera in major markets for treatment of diabetes. It uses an inhaler developed by Nektar Therapeutics.
"This information is important for healthcare providers," Professor Philippe Camus of the University Medical Center, Dijon in France, told the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
"It shows that the efficacy and tolerability of Exubera remain unchanged even if patients develop a cold or the flu. Also, studies showed patients taking Exubera are no more likely to develop a respiratory infection than patients using injectable insulin," he added.
Examination of 5 other clinical trials presented at the meeting revealed that among the patients with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, there was less weight gain in those who used Exubera compared to those who used insulin injections.
According to Pfizer, Exubera is effective even when people are exposed to smoky surroundings at work. But there may be a reduction in the absorption of the inhaled insulin in such situations.