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Inhaled Insulin

How it works: Inhaled insulin works through the same mechanism as injectable insulin, but it is taken with an oral inhaler rather than through an injection or a pump. The only approved inhaled insulin that is on the market is MannKind’s ultra-rapid-acting inhaled insulin Afrezza.

Who uses it: Inhaled insulin is approved for people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It could be particularly useful for patients with type 2 diabetes who need additional control beyond oral drugs but are not fully comfortable with injections.

In-Depth Article: FDA approved MannKind’s Afrezza – a review of the FDA approval of the inhalable insulin Afrezza, with links to trial results, comments from the medical Advisory Committee, and more.

Coverage of Afrezza's US launch can be found here.

Learn more about how to save on Afrezza here

Approved drugs:




  • No injections

  • Roughly similar efficacy vs. injectable insulin

  • Potentially less hypoglycemia

  • Less weight gain

  • Small inhaler device

  • Acts more rapidly than even injectable rapid-acting insulins, possibly enabling dosing at the beginning of a meal

  • Mild and transient cough

  • Potentially costly compared to other insulins

  • Still requires injections/pump for basal insulin

  • Dosing is done in increments of four units, which may not be precise enough for some patients



Last updated: February 28, 2018