Oral insulin for diabetic patients

Updated: Nov 03, 2009, 00:00 AM IST

New Delhi: To avert the possibility of Hypoglycaemia an American biopharmaceutical company has developed Oral Insulin. This Insulin is already being used by patients and is delivering results through the Buccal Mucosa (the inside lining of the mouth).

Oral Insulin also offers ease of administration and convenience as also freedom from the all too frequent and annoying needle pricks. The device design makes it possible for patients to carry Oral-Insulin device in their coat pockets or hand bags and doesn’t require refrigeration. The ease of using the device doesn’t require privacy that is needed to administer an insulin injection.

Says Dr. Subhash Wangnoo, Diabetologist, Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, “Oral insulin is an alternative mode of insulin delivery. Because of less bioavailability the dose required is high. Efficacy and potency is same this is best suited for those requiring less dose of insulin. People still need to take basal insulin along with it. Oral Insulin has the potential of ensuring better patient compliance since it doesn’t have to be injected. Better compliance lead to improved glycemic control and thus minimize the serious diabetic complications such as diabetic foot etc.”

Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce sufficient amounts of the hormone Insulin or does not respond to the Insulin produced. This leads to high blood sugar levels leading eventually to life threatening complications. Statistics have it that a large number of Insulin dependent people discontinue treatment on account of the side effects that injectable Insulin brings on.

If your body is not producing Insulin, it needs to be provided from the outside. As of now the only recommended way of doing that is to inject it subcutaneously (under the skin) from where it is absorbed quickly. If, on the other hand, your body is resistant to the Insulin that it produces, you need to lower that resistance. This is achieved through drugs known as Oral Hypoglycaemic (sugar – lowering) Agents. ). Thus it is emerging as an exciting prospect for researchers and clinicians alike for it is possible to control the number of puffs thus the quantity of insulin delivered to the body.

Bureau Report