New adventures of an old device: Clinic delivers cortisol via the insulin pump



– The venerable insulin pump is being repurposed: A Detroit-area endocrinology team reports successfully using insulin pumps to deliver hydrocortisone to patients with adrenal insufficiency who have fared poorly on oral medications.

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“We’ve seen amazing results,” said endocrinologist Opada Alzohaili, MD, MBA, of Wayne State University, Detroit, coauthor of a study released at the annual scientific and clinical congress of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

Dr. Alzohaili said he and his colleagues developed the approach to manage patients who are “so sick that they go to the hospital 10-12 times a year.” Oral medication just did not control their disorder.

“Most of the time, we end up way overdosing them [on oral medication] just to prevent them from going to the hospital in adrenal crisis,” he said in an interview.

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