A new clinical trial has suggested that a latest nasal spray could be effective for diabetics who are dizzy or unconscious due to low blood sugar. The nasal spray includes a hormone called glucagon, which causes an instant increase in blood sugar levels.
Currently, diabetics have to treat hypoglycemia by mixing a powder in the water, drawing it into a syringe, and has to be injected. Patients who are feeling unconscious or dizzy face problems in administering the treatment as it needs their full attention. Dr. George Grunberger, a clinical professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detriot and president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists said that the new spray could become the go-to-treatment for severe hypoglycemia as it is easier to administer and is effective.
“It was only a matter of time before something more practical came onto the market,” said Dr. Grunberger.
The clinical trial was conducted with 75 adults with type 1 diabetes at eight clinics in the United States. The participants were induced with hypoglycemia twice, and were treated once with the injection and withe the nasal spray. The results showed that nasal spray worked about 99 percent of the time, compared to the 100 percent effectiveness from the injection.
The nasal spray takes about 16 minutes to increase sugar levels while the injection took 13 minutes. Though the injection seemed to have a slight advantage, it took only 16 to 26 seconds to administer the nasal spray, when compared to 1.9 to 2.4 minutes taken by the injection.
Dr. Deena Adimoolam, an assistant professor of endocrinology and diabetes with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City said that the nasal spray needs no mixing, and either the diabetic or a bystander can administer it. Dr, Grunberger and Dr. Adimoolam was not involved in the study. Glucagon produced nausea in a little more than a third of users as side effects, but nasal spray users had higher instances of head and facial discomfort.[ Via ]