Insulin Inhaled Powder
What is this medication?
INSULIN (IN su lin) treats diabetes. It works by increasing insulin levels in your body, which decreases your blood sugar (glucose). It belongs to a group of medications called rapid-acting insulins. Changes to diet and exercise are often combined with this medication.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Afrezza
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Cigarette smoker
- Episodes of low blood sugar
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Lung cancer
- Lung or breathing disease, like asthma or COPD (such as emphysema)
- Using other inhaled medications
- An unusual or allergic reaction to insulin, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medication is for inhalation through the mouth. Take this medication at the beginning of a meal. It is important to follow the directions given to you by your care team. You will be taught how to use this medication and how to adjust doses for activities and illness. Make sure that you are using your inhaler correctly. Do not use more insulin than prescribed. Do not use more or less often than prescribed.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
This medication comes with INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE. Ask your pharmacist for directions on how to use this medication. Read the information carefully. Talk to your pharmacist or care team if you have questions.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
It is important not to miss a dose. Your care team should discuss a plan for missed doses with you. If you do miss a dose, follow their plan. Do not take double doses.
What may interact with this medication?
- Albuterol or other inhaled medications
- Alcohol-containing beverages
- Antiviral medications for HIV or AIDS
- Aspirin and aspirin-like medications
- Beta-blockers like metoprolol and propranolol
- Certain medications for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat
- Certain medications for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
- Female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills
- Male hormones or anabolic steroids
- MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
- Medications for weight loss
- Medications for allergies, asthma, cold, or cough
- NSAIDs, medications for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
- Quinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, ofloxacin
- Some herbal dietary supplements
- Steroid medications like prednisone or cortisone
- Sulfamethoxazole; trimethoprim
- Thyroid hormones
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress.
A test called the HbA1C (A1C) will be monitored. This is a simple blood test. It measures your blood sugar control over the last 2 to 3 months. You will receive this test every 3 to 6 months.
Learn how to check your blood sugar. Learn the symptoms of low and high blood sugar and how to manage them.
Always carry a quick-source of sugar with you in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar. Examples include hard sugar candy or glucose tablets. Make sure others know that you can choke if you eat or drink when you develop serious symptoms of low blood sugar, such as seizures or unconsciousness. They must get medical help at once.
Tell your care team if you have high blood sugar. You might need to change the dose of your medication. If you are sick or exercising more than usual, you might need to change the dose of your medication.
Do not skip meals. Ask your care team if you should avoid alcohol. Many nonprescription cough and cold products contain sugar or alcohol. These can affect blood sugar.
Wear a medical ID bracelet or chain, and carry a card that describes your disease and details of your medication and dosage times.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)—increased thirst or amount of urine, dry mouth, fatigue, fruity odor to breath, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)—tremors or shaking, anxiety, sweating, cold or clammy skin, confusion, dizziness, rapid heartbeat
- Low potassium level—muscle pain or cramps, unusual weakness or fatigue, fast or irregular heartbeat, constipation
- Wheezing or trouble breathing that is worse after use
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Sore throat
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Throw away the inhaler device 15 days after opening and get a new one. Between uses, store in a refrigerator or at room temperature 25 degrees C (77 degrees F).
Store unopened foil packages in a refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). These may be used until the expiration date. If unopened foil packages are stored at room temperature 25 degrees C (77 degrees F), they must be used within 10 days.
Store unopened blister cards and strips in a refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). These must be used within 1 month. If unopened blister cards and strips are stored at room temperature 25 degrees C (77 degrees F), they must be used within 10 days.
Opened strips that are in use should be stored at room temperature 25 degrees C (77 degrees F). Open strips must be used within 3 days.
Before use, the inhaler and the cartridges should be at room temperature for 10 minutes.
To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:
- Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
- If you cannot return the medication, ask your pharmacist or care team how to get rid of this medication safely.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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