Six month administration of gelified intranasal insulin in 16 type 1 diabetic patients under multiple injections: efficacy vs subcutaneous injections and local tolerance

Diabetes Metab. 2001 Jun;27(3):372-7.


Objective: Nasal insulin administration is a potential route for intensive insulin management, less invasive and more rapid than subcutaneous injections. Previous studies have shown poor bioavailability (less than 15%) with nasal insulin administration with various absorption enhancers. The aim of the study was to evaluate in type 1 diabetic patients, the metabolic efficacy and local tolerance of a new gelified sprayed nasal insulin containing glychocolate and methylcellulose as absorption promoters.

Material and methods: The study was conducted in 16 type 1 diabetic patients (HbA1c 8.6+/-0.2%) in a cross-over trial including 2 six month randomized periods: a) NPH twice daily + 3 pre-prandial nasal insulin doses + nasal supplementation in case of unexpected hyperglycaemia; b) NPH twice daily + 3 pre-prandial regular insulin injections. End points were HbA1c levels, hypoglycaemic episodes and tolerance evaluated at month 0, 2, 6 and 8 on clinical symptoms and objective nasal assessments.

Results: Four patients were withdrawn because of nasal burning (3 cases) and persistent sinusitis (1 case), and one patient had purulent sinusitis at the month 6 examination. At month 6, HbA1c levels were comparable (8.3 +/- 0.1 vs 8.6 +/- 0.1%, m +/- SEM, NS) for nasal and subcutaneous period respectively. The number of hypoglycaemic events was identical during the 2 periods (88 episodes). Nasal tolerance with the gelified form was better than with the already reported lyophilized form but, when present, symptoms were more marked, suggesting a potentiating additional role of methylcellulose excipient on nasal intolerance.

Conclusions: 1) Gelified nasal insulin is as efficient as subcutaneous regular insulin in type 1 diabetic patients. 2) Other galenic forms should be investigated to improve nasal tolerance and bioavailability.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / epidemiology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Inflammation
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Insulin, Isophane / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin, Isophane / adverse effects
  • Insulin, Isophane / therapeutic use
  • Nasal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Nasal Mucosa / pathology
  • Sinusitis / etiology


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin, Isophane