If diet and exercise do not help achieve adequate blood sugar control, inhaled insulin works for patients with type 2 diabetes. A study reported in Diabetes Care (August 2005) included 402 patients with type 2 diabetes who had inadequate control of blood sugar based on diet and exercise. The purpose of the investigation was to determine whether administration of inhaled insulin prior to meals would prove more beneficial than rosiglitazone treatment in lowering blood sugar.
The researchers found that significantly more patients receiving inhaled insulin achieved a hemoglobin A1C (HgA1C) target goal of <8%, compared with patients taking rosiglitazone (82.7% vs 58.2%, respectively). Also, more patients taking inhaled insulin achieved HgA1C levels of <7% (44% vs 17.9%).
Insulin use was linked with a higher number of low-blood-sugar episodes. The researchers noted no severe low-blood-sugar episodes in either treatment group, however. Furthermore, reductions in fasting plasma glucose and 2-hour postmeal sugar levels were alike in the 2 treatment groups. Yet, the 24-hour self-monitored blood sugar improvements were better in the inhaled-insulin group.