Oral insulin: an update

Minerva Endocrinol. 2020 Mar;45(1):49-60. doi: 10.23736/S0391-1977.19.03055-4. Epub 2019 Jul 24.


Insulin, either in its intravenous or subcutaneous forms, remains the standard therapy for virtually all type-1 diabetes and many of the type-2 diabetes patients in its advanced stages. With advancement of injection techniques, insulin therapy has become much more patient-friendly than ever. Still there is vast area of unmet needs regarding current practice of insulin therapy. Insulin injections are associated with poor compliance, weight gain, fears of hypoglycemia and adverse effects of systemic hyperinsulinemia. So, a search for oral insulin tablet which may closely mimic the physiological insulin secretions has always been there. This review intends to briefly describe the existing barriers of oral insulin delivery and strategies to overcome those. It also highlights the recent human studies and tries to find out the future of oral insulin in clinical context.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral*
  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin