Is inhalable insulin catching on?
ATLANTA - After living for more than 20 years with type 1 diabetes,
"My entire life, as I know it with diabetes, has changed," says Laura Kronen.
Laura Kronen has discovered Afrezza, insulin you inhale.
"I don't have to take shots anymore. I don't have to inject 10 times a day, which is what I was doing. There is only one shot I have to take, it's at night, it's my long-acting insulin," says Kronen.
Now, before each meal she loads the cartridge and it's ready to go.
She loads the cartridge -- and it's ready to go.
"All you do is breathe out and breathe in. And that's it. You're done? I'm done. Doesn't feel like anything, doesn't taste like anything," she says.
Dr. Patrick Bowen, Section Head of Endocrinology for Emory Healthcare, says less than 5% of his patients using Afrezza, but, he says he understands the draw.
"I think the idea of not having to take an injection with meals is very appealing to many patients with diabetes that need to take insulin with meals," says Dr. Bowen.
Bowen says Afrezza works as well as injectable fast-acting insulin, but he says it's harder to tweak the dosage and more expensive. Plus, there are limits on who can use it.
"Patients with underlying lung disease are not able to use Afrezza as an option. It's also not an option in patients who are currently smoking or recently quit smoking," warns Dr. Bowen.
But Laura Kronen says Afrezza makes managing her blood sugar so much easier.
"The fact that it's in the system for so little time, and that you can really predict what your blood sugar is going to be. The fact that it's so easy to correct a high blood sugar. The fact that you can keep your blood sugar stable," adds Kronen.
And it's nice to be -- almost -- needle-free.
"Just not taking all of those shots, and not feeling like I'm a human pincushion 24/7 is life-changing in itself."