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From Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, USA:

In a scientific journal I happen to be reading, I noticed something interesting and am interested in your opinion. Cardiac glycosides, e.g., digoxin, [heart pills] are rapidly degraded by gastric acids. Encapsulation of the digoxin in cyclodextrin increases both the solubility and stability of the drug. Dose reduction and thus reduction of side effects in oral therapy is a consequence of the enhanced bioavailability of digoxin by cyclodextrin complexation. To your knowledge has this ever been attempted with insulin? Do you believe that it has the possibility of functioning as an oral insulin therapy?


I did not see this particular paper; but there have been a number of attempts over the years to avoid giving insulin by injection. Nasal spray was probably the most successful; but the apparatus was cumbersome and the dose hard to predict and it never got the length of being dispensed in microinhalers such as are used for asthma. Insulin has also been variously encapsulated to circumvent peptic digestion. It worked but the dose tended to be large and unpredictable and no system was able to compete with quality cost and precision of injectables.


Original posting 27 Mar 1998
Posted to Insulin


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