Researchers, doctors, and people with diabetes agree that injected insulin works well to manage the disease. They'll probably also say that getting insulin into your body through something other than a needle would be even better.
You can't get insulin in a pill, but how about breathing it in?
How Inhaled Insulin Works
The idea of inhaling insulin has been around for decades. It wasn't until the 1990s that researchers made it possible.
Inhaled Insulin Today
In June 2014, the FDA approved Afrezza. It's an inhaler with pre-measured, rapid-acting insulin you use before meals.
Early Inhaled Insulin
The FDA approved the first inhaled insulin, Exubera, in September 2006. People who had type 1 or type 2 diabetes could use it.
But the drug's maker took it off the market in October 2007, because it didn't seem to catch on with patients. People thought the inhaler was too big and clunky. (The Afrezza inhaler is much smaller.) Later, the FDA was concerned that Exubera might cause lung problems including cancer.