Inhalable insulin is a new (as of mid-2006) method of delivering insulin, a drug used in the treatment of diabetes, to the body. It is the first new treatment option of insulin since the discovery of insulin in 1921, traditionally administered by subcutaneous injection.
It is a powdered form of recombinant human insulin, which is delivered through an inhaler into the lungs where it is absorbed. As of March 2007, the currently available type (Exubera) is a fast or rapid acting form of insulin , meaning that once it has been absorbed, it begins working within the body over the next few hours. Diabetics still need to take a longer acting basal insulin by injection. Several companies are developing inhaled forms of the drug to reduce the need for daily injections among diabetics.