Evolution of a Pulmonary Insulin Delivery System ( Exubera) for Patients With Diabetes

Priscilla A. Hollander, MD


March 05, 2007

The Exubera Device

Exubera (INH) is a novel inhaled insulin delivery system that has been developed for prandial insulin use in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The INH system has 3 main components: a dry powder formulation of human insulin, packaged in foil blisters for long-term stability; the insulin inhaler device with a holding chamber that facilitates appropriate and consistent insulin delivery; and an insulin or INH release unit that enables the insulin powder to be released from the foil blisters into the device-holding chamber.[12] Each inhaler activation produces minute particles (1-5 mcm in diameter, with an average of 3 mcm) of a rapid-acting, dry powder, human recombinant insulin that are inhaled as a dry cloud from the holding chamber.[12] The insulin formulation is packaged into blister packets, each containing either 1 or 3 mg of insulin, with a single 1-mg dose delivering the equivalent of approximately 3 IU of subcutaneous (SC) insulin.[12] Patients may be required to use multiple blister packs to achieve the desired dose, but should combine 1-mg and 3-mg blister packs so that the least number of blister packs per dose are taken (eg, a 4-mg dose should be administered as one 1-mg blister pack and one 3-mg blister pack).


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