Diabetes mellitus greatly affects the quality of life of patients and has a
worldwide prevalence. Insulin is the most commonly used drug to treat diabetic patients
and is usually administered through the subcutaneous route. However, this route of
administration is ineffective due to the low concentration of insulin at the site of action.
This route of administration causes discomfort to the patient and increases the risk of
infection due to skin barrier disturbance caused by the needle. The oral administration of
insulin has been proposed to surpass the disadvantages of subcutaneous
administration. In this review, we give an overview of the strategies to deliver insulin by
the oral route, from insulin conjugation to encapsulation into nanoparticles. These
strategies are still under development to attain efficacy and effectiveness that are
expected to be achieved in the near future.
Keywords: Diabetes mellitus, insulin, oral delivery, nanoparticle, absorption enhancer, enzyme inhibitor, intestinal
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