Compare Nesina vs. Afrezza

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Nesina (alogliptin)

Prescription only

Afrezza (insulin)

Prescription only
Lowers your blood sugar.

Nesina (alogliptin) is a good add-on treatment for diabetes if your blood sugars are still not controlled, but it doesn't work as well as insulin.

Controls mealtime blood sugar.

Afrezza (insulin) is effective at controlling blood sugar, but you can't use it if you've had lung problems or smoke.

Upsides
  • Less likely to cause weight gain or low blood sugar compared to other anti-diabetic medicines.
  • Pill may be preferred by some patients over injection.
  • Afrezza (insulin) is as effective as other mealtime insulin products.
  • Starts working faster and stays in your body for a shorter time than other mealtime insulin products, so you're less likely to have severely low blood sugar.
  • If you don't like needles, Afrezza (insulin) is a good alternative since you inhale it.
  • Safe to use in people 65 or older.
  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about ways to lower your copay, such as coupons.
Downsides
  • Does not lower your A1c (average blood sugar over time) as much as insulin.
  • Available as an expensive, branded product only.
  • Has more troublesome side-effects than other anti-diabetic pills.
  • Not recommended if you're a smoker or if you've smoked in the last 6 months.
  • Afrezza (insulin) only comes in 3 different strengths, so it can be inconvenient if you need a lot of insulin.
  • Not recommended in children under 18.
  • If you're pregnant, you'll need to talk to your doctor before you start Afrezza (insulin).
  • There is no generic available, and may not be covered right away by Medicare or other insurances.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Inhalation powder
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Nesina (alogliptin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
6possible side effects
  • Cough
    28%
  • Throat pain or irritation
    6%
  • Headache
    5%
  • Worsening lung function test
    3%
  • Airway inflammation
    3%
  • Urinary tract infection
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
    • History of pancreatitis
    • High blood triglyceride levels
    • Gallstones (stones in gallbladder)
  • Liver damage
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
    • Taking medicines for diabetes
  • Severe joint pain and swelling
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Low blood sugar
    • Changes in diet and exercise
    • Drinking alcohol
    • Taking other medications for diabetes
    • Over age 65
    • Liver or kidney problems
  • Breathing problems
    • Asthma
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Other long term lung problems
  • Low blood potassium levels
    • Taking laxatives
    • Taking medications that increase urination
  • Worsening lung function
    • Smoking
    • Second-hand smoke
    • Indoor and outdoor pollution
    • Work-related fume and chemical exposure
  • Fluid buildup
    • Taking Avandia or Actos
  • Too much acid in the blood
    • Type 1 diabetes
    • Long periods of fasting
    • Alchohol abuse
    • History of pancreatitis
See more detailed risks and warnings