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Study Trial finds Nasal Spray Effective at Treating Hypoglycemia

Update Date: Dec 19, 2015 10:35 AM EST

A nasal spray was effective at treating hypoglycemia, a potentially dangerous condition characterized by extremely low blood pressure that occurs in diabetics.

For this clinical trial, researchers compared the effectiveness of a nasal spray in 75 people with type 1 diabetes to the current treatment of an injection of powdered glucagon mixed with water. The mixture has to be injected into a muscle. The spray, which also contains powdered glucagon, a hormone that helps increase the body's blood sugar levels, can be used immediately.

The researchers induced hypoglycemia in all of the participants twice and then treated them with the injection and the nasal spray. The team found that the nasal spray was effective 99 percent of the time. The injection was effective in 100 percent of the cases.

The nasal spray took - on average - 16 minutes to kick in whereas the injection took an average of 13 minutes to increase blood sugar levels. The researchers noted that in a previous study, it took longer to administer the injection than it did to give the nasal spray.

"This intranasal spray is a big deal," Dr. George Grunberger, a clinical professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit and president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, commented reported by HealthDay via WebMD. "This is something which people have been crying for, for years. It was only a matter of time before something more practical came onto the market."

Dr. Grunberger was not a part of the study.

The researchers noted that testing the effects of the nasal spray in older adults would be vital since this group tends to be more vulnerable to hypoglycemia. The average age of the study's participants was 33.

"I think it would have been even more interesting if this study looked at how this medication could help the elderly who are at even higher risk for insulin-related hypoglycemia than the age group evaluated in this study," Dr. Deena Adimoolam, who was also not involved in the study, said.

The spray is owned by Eli Lilly and Co, but the original develop was Locemia Solutions, which funded the clinical trial.

The study was published in the journal, Diabetes Care.

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