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Health Guide

Insulin inhaled (By breathing)

Insulin Human Inhaled (IN-su-lin HUE-man in-HAYLD)

Treats diabetes.

Brand Name(s):

Afrezza

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to human insulin or if you have a chronic lung problem, such as asthma or COPD.

How to Use This Medicine:

Powder Under Pressure

  • Your healthcare provider will work with you to personalize your dose and treatment based on your insulin needs and lifestyle. You will be taught how to use the inhaler. Make sure you understand all instructions. Ask the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you have questions.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Use this medicine at the beginning of a meal.
  • To use:
    • Remove a blister card from the foil package. Tear along the perforation to remove one strip. Remove the correct number of cartridges for your dose.
    • Allow the cartridge to be at room temperature for 10 minutes before use.
    • After you insert a cartridge, keep the inhaler level with the white mouthpiece on top and the purple base on the bottom. Do not shake or drop the inhaler, turn it upside down, or point the mouthpiece down after the cartridge has been inserted. If any of these occurs, throw away the cartridge and load a new one.
    • After you use the inhaler, wipe it with a clean, dry cloth to clean it. Do not wash or rinse the inhaler.
    • Throw away the inhaler after 15 days and use a new one.
  • Unopened foil packages: Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. If the foil package is not refrigerated, it must be used within 10 days.
  • Unopened blister cards and strips: If refrigerated, use within 1 month. If stored at room temperature, use within 10 days. Do not put a blister card or strip back into the refrigerator after it was stored at room temperature.
  • Opened strips: Store at room temperature and use within 3 days.
  • Inhaler: Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Allow the inhaler to warm to room temperature for about 10 minutes before use.

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 change the amount of insulin you need to use and make it harder for you to control your diabetes. Tell your doctor about all other medicines that you are using.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, lung disease, or a history of lung cancer. Tell your doctor if you smoke or have recently stopped smoking.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Low blood sugar or low potassium levels in the blood
    • Decrease in lung function or other lung problems
    • Fluid retention or heart failure (when used with a thiazolidinedione [TZD] medicine)
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

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
  • Cough, trouble breathing, chest tightness
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, uneven heartbeat
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Shaking, trembling, sweating, fast or pounding heartbeat, lightheadedness, hunger, confusion

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 6/16/2017
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