Health Guide

Insulin human, inhaled (By breathing)

Insulin Human Inhaled

Treats diabetes mellitus. This type of insulin starts working faster than regular insulin. The manufacturer stopped marketing this medicine in January 2008. This was not caused by any safety concerns.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to any type of insulin, or if you have lung disease (such as asthma or COPD). Do not use this medicine if you smoke, start smoking, or if you quit smoking less than 6 months ago.

How to Use This Medicine:

Powder Under Pressure

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.
  • Do not open the individual blisters yourself. You will use this medicine with a device called an inhaler. This medicine is designed to open the blister after you put the unopened blister in the inhaler. The inhaler holds the powdered medicine and measures out each dose for you. Do not swallow the contents of the blister. Your caregiver will show you how to use your inhaler.
  • You should use this medicine within 10 minutes before having a meal.
  • Remove the cap and look at the mouthpiece to make sure it is clean.
  • Open your mouth and breathe in slowly and deeply (like yawning), and at the same time firmly press down on the top of the canister once.
  • Hold your breath for about 5 to 10 seconds, then breathe out slowly.
  • When you have finished all your inhalations, rinse your mouth out with water.
  • Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Keep the medicine in the foil pouch until you are ready to use it. Store at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine container and any leftover medicine. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect the amount of insulin you need to use. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using. These especially include corticosteroids, danazol (Danocrine®), diazoxide (Proglyceum®), diuretics or "water pills", glucagon, isoniazid (Nydrazid®), somatropin (Nutropin®), thyroid hormones, estrogens, progestogens, protease inhibitors, sympathomimetic agents (such as epinephrine, albuterol, or terbutaline), or a phenothiazine medicine (such as prochlorperazine, Compazine®, or Mellaril®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using disopyramide (Norpace®), fibrates, fluoxetine (Prozac®, Sarafem®), pentoxifylline (Trental®), propoxyphene (Darvon®), salicylates, sulfonamide antibiotics (such as trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, Bactrim®), diabetes medicine that you take by mouth (such as glyburide, metformin, or Actos®), MAO inhibitors (such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®), or medicine to treat mental illness (such as clozapine, olanzapine or Zyprexa®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using guanethidine (Ismelin®), reserpine, clonidine (Catapres®), lithium salts, pentamidine (Nebupent®), ACE inhibitors (such as enalapril, lisinopril, or Accupril®), beta-blockers (such as atenolol, metoprolol, or Inderal®), or other inhaled medicines.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have breathing problems or lung disease, liver disease, kidney disease, heart disease, adrenal or pituitary gland disease, or thyroid gland disease.
  • Your correct insulin dose may change slightly with changes in your diet or activity. Your dose needs may also change if you are ill (especially with diarrhea or vomiting), pregnant, traveling, using other medicines, or exercising more or less than usual. Follow your doctor's instructions about changes in your insulin dose.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments. Your doctor may also need you to do lung tests while you are using this medicine.
  • If your blood sugar gets too low, you may feel weak, drowsy, confused, anxious, or very hungry. You may also sweat, shake, or have blurred vision, a fast heartbeat, or a headache that will not go away. If you have symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), check your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) or below, do one of the following: Drink 4 ounces (one-half cup) of fruit juice, or eat 5 to 6 pieces of hard candy, or take 2 to 3 glucose tablets. Re-check your blood sugar 15 minutes later. If your blood sugar is above 70 mg/dL, eat a snack or a meal. If your blood sugar is still below 70 mg/dL, drink one-half cup juice, or eat 5 to 6 pieces of candy, or take 2 to 3 glucose tablets. Carry candy or some type of sugar with you at all times, especially if you are away from home. You can take this if you feel that your blood sugar is too low, even if you do not have a blood glucose meter. Always carefully follow your doctor's instructions about how to treat your low blood sugar. Learn what to do if your blood sugar gets too low. Teach friends, co-workers, and family members what they can do to help if you have low blood sugar.
  • Your body may react differently to this insulin medicine than it did to insulin medicines you used in the past. Watch out for early signs of low blood sugar, since these signs may be different or weaker than you are used to.
  • This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions. Check with your doctor right away if you have a rash; itching; fast pulse; dizziness; fainting; lightheadedness; shortness of breath; trouble breathing after using this medicine.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Changes in vision.
  • Chest pain.
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, and body aches.
  • Headache.
  • Irritability, restlessness, confusion, or mood changes.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Tremors.
  • Trouble with breathing.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dry mouth.
  • Nightmares or trouble with sleeping.
  • Nosebleeds.
  • Sweating.
  • Tingling in your hands, feet, lips, or tongue.

Last Updated: 6/12/2013
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