Afrezza (insulin human) is a brand-name inhaled insulin prescribed to manage blood sugar in adults with diabetes. It comes as a powder that you typically take at mealtimes. The dosage can vary based on certain factors.

Afrezza is a biologic and belongs to a drug class called fast-acting insulins. It’s not available in a biosimilar version.

Keep reading for specific information about the dosage of Afrezza, including its strengths and how to take the medication. For a comprehensive look at Afrezza, see this article.

Note: This article describes typical dosages for Afrezza provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Afrezza, always follow the dosage your doctor prescribes.

Below is information about Afrezza’s form, strengths, and dosages.

Afrezza form

Afrezza is a powder that comes in single-use cartridges (medication containers you load into your inhaler). You inhale the powder using the inhaler that comes with the product.

Afrezza strengths

Afrezza cartridges come in three strengths:

  • 4 units
  • 8 units
  • 12 units

Typical dosages

Typically, your doctor will start by prescribing you a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Dosage for diabetes

Doctors may prescribe Afrezza for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to help manage blood sugar levels. Sometimes, they may prescribe Afrezza in addition to oral medication or basal (long-acting) insulin. This depends on the type of diabetes you have.

You’ll inhale Afrezza at the beginning of each meal. Afrezza’s starting dose depends on whether you already take insulin.

Starting dosage for people who have not taken insulin before: If Afrezza is your first insulin, your recommended starting dose will be 4 units.

Starting dosage for people who have been taking mealtime insulin: If you’re switching to Afrezza from an injected mealtime (“fast-acting”) insulin, your recommended starting dose will be based on the conversion table below:

Dose of injected mealtime insulinDose of Afrezza
up to 4 units4 units
5–8 units8 units
9–12 units12 units
13–16 units16 units
17–20 units20 units
21–24 units24 units

Starting dosage for people who have been taking premixed insulin: If you’ve been taking premixed insulin, your doctor will use specific calculations to determine your Afrezza dose. (Premixed insulin combines two types of insulin.)

When you first start Afrezza, you’ll check your blood sugar level often. This will help you and your doctor understand how the drug affects your blood sugar. With this information, your doctor may decide to increase your dosage or make other adjustments.

For more information about your specific dosage, talk with your doctor.

Long-term treatment

Afrezza is meant to be a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Afrezza is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

Before you start taking Afrezza, your doctor will discuss your treatment plan with you.

The Afrezza dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These may include:

  • your blood sugar levels and goals
  • your level of physical activity
  • your meals
  • how your body responds to Afrezza
  • the type and severity of the condition you’re using Afrezza to treat
  • other medications you take
  • your liver and kidney function

Other medical conditions you have, including short-term illnesses, can also affect your Afrezza dosage.

Dosage adjustments

Your doctor may need to adjust your Afrezza dose if you take certain medications. This includes drugs that raise your risk of low blood sugar. It also includes drugs that raise or lower Afrezza’s ability to lower blood sugar. You may need to check your blood sugar more often if you take such drugs. To learn what drugs interact with Afrezza, see the “Interactions” section of this article.

Your doctor may also need to adjust your Afrezza dose if you’re ill. They may also alter your dose for changes in your weight, stress, exercise, or diet. If you take other diabetes drugs, your doctor may alter their doses, too. This is to manage your blood sugar better. They may also need to adjust your Afrezza dosage for changes or problems in your liver or kidney function.

Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take and any health conditions you may have.

Afrezza is a powder that you breathe in through your mouth using the supplied inhaler. You’ll take the drug at each mealtime, just before eating.

You should take Afrezza as your doctor prescribes it. If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll take a long-acting insulin in addition to Afrezza.

You’ll store Afrezza powder cartridges in the refrigerator and the inhaler in a clean, dry place. Before meals, check that you have the correct cartridges for your dose. Then bring them and the inhaler to room temperature for 10 minutes before loading a cartridge into the inhaler. Note that you’ll require more than one cartridge if your dose exceeds 12 units.

A healthcare professional will show you how to use the inhaler. However, it’s important to read the drug’s instructions for use. You can also watch this video on the manufacturer’s website. If you have questions about taking Afrezza, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: Do not change your dose of Afrezza unless your doctor specifically tells you to do so. Also, until you’re used to Afrezza, you should check your blood sugar frequently. Do not take Afrezza if you have low blood sugar. Also, don’t smoke or drink alcohol while taking Afrezza.


Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.

If you miss a dose before a meal, the food you eat can cause a blood sugar spike. You can ask your doctor how to handle missed doses of Afrezza. They may advise you to take a dose within a certain time frame. Your dose will depend on your blood sugar level and when you missed the dose. Your doctor can give you more information about this.

Do not take two doses to make up for a missed one.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. You can set an alarm or put a note where you’ll see it, such as on your refrigerator or kitchen table.

Be sure that you do not take more Afrezza than your doctor prescribes. Doing so may cause harmful effects or insulin overdose.

Effects of an overdose

Overdose effects of Afrezza can include:

Untreated low blood sugar can cause seizure, coma, and even death. Therefore, if you experience severely low blood sugar, you may need medication and treatment in the hospital. It’s important for you and those around you to know what to do in a diabetic emergency.

If you take more than the recommended amount of Afrezza

Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Afrezza. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.

Below are some frequently asked questions about Afrezza.

Is the dosage of Afrezza similar to the dosage of Humalog?

Yes, the dosages of Afrezza and Humalog have some similarities. But there are also differences, including the drug form. Afrezza and Humalog are both fast-acting insulins. Afrezza comes as an inhaled powder. Humalog comes in several injectable forms, but people usually inject it subcutaneously.

The dose timing of Afrezza is similar to that of Humalog. Like Afrezza, Humalog is used regularly right before eating. Humalog can also be used just after eating. However, the doses in units don’t translate one-to-one. Afrezza’s dose in units will likely be higher than Humalog’s. You can refer to the dose conversion table in the “Afrezza dosage” section above for details.

Your doctor will prescribe the drug and the dosage that’s right for you. To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor.

How long does it take for Afrezza to start working?

After inhaling your Afrezza dose, it takes about 12 minutes for it to start managing blood sugar levels. Its greatest effect will occur about 35­–55 minutes after your dose.

You can monitor its effect on your blood sugar by frequently checking your blood sugar levels during treatment. Your doctor can also see how well Afrezza is working. They may want you to have an A1C blood test, which measures your blood sugar level over time.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about what to expect with Afrezza treatment.

The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Afrezza for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.

As with any drug, never change your dosage of Afrezza without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Afrezza that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.

Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Afrezza. These additional articles might be helpful:

  • More about Afrezza: For information about other aspects of Afrezza, refer to this article.
  • Side effects: To learn about side effects of Afrezza, see this article. You can also look at the Afrezza prescribing information.
  • Details about diabetes: For details about your condition, see our diabetes hub.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.