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Research Article

Insulin given intranasally induces hypoglycaemia in normal and diabetic subjects.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 284 doi: (Published 30 January 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;284:303
  1. A E Pontiroli,
  2. M Alberetto,
  3. A Secchi,
  4. G Dossi,
  5. I Bosi,
  6. G Pozza


    Regular or crystalline insulin with sodium glycocholate as surfactant administered intranasally to normal volunteers induced hypoglycaemia and an increase in serum immunoreactive insulin concentrations. Serum C-peptide concentrations decreased or remained unchanged. Insulin administered intravenously to three of these subjects yielded a potency ratio of 1:8 for intranasal and intravenous insulin. In four insulin-dependent diabetics a cross-over study was performed on different days, insulin being administered once intranasally and once subcutaneously in a ratio of 1:9. In these patients the intranasal insulin was more effective than the subcutaneous insulin in preventing hyperglycaemia after breakfast. In four other insulin-dependent diabetics 11-hours monitoring was performed twice on two different days, insulin being administered in divided dosage sufficient to achieve a reasonable glycaemic profile. The administration during the morning, whereas subcutaneous insulin was more effective than intranasal during the afternoon.