The aim of the work reported herein was to study the effect of glucosamine HCl (GlcN·HCl) on the bioactivity (BA) of insulin, administered via subcutaneous (SC) and oral routes, in adult male Sprague Dawley rats. The oral insulin delivery system (insulin–chitosan reverse micelle [IC-RM]) was prepared by solubilizing insulin–chitosan (13 kDa) polyelectrolyte complex in a RM system consisting of oleic acid, PEG-8 caprylic/capric glycerides, and polyglycerol-6-dioleate. The BA of insulin in vivo was evaluated by measuring blood glucose level using a blood glucose meter; the results revealed that the extent of hypoglycemic activity of SC insulin was GlcN·HCl dose dependent when they were administered simultaneously. A significant reduction in blood glucose levels ( P<0.05) was found for the insulin:GlcN·HCl at mass ratios of 1:10 and 1:20, whereas lower ratios (eg, 1:1 and 1:4) showed no significant reduction. Furthermore, enhancement of the action of SC insulin was achieved by oral administration of GlcN·HCl for 5 consecutive days prior to insulin injection ( P<0.05). For oral insulin administration via the IC-RM system, the presence of GlcN·HCl increased the hypoglycemic activity of insulin ( P<0.05). The relative BA were 6.7% and 5.4% in the presence and absence of GlcN·HCl (ie, the increase in the relative BA was approximately 23% due to incorporating GlcN·HCl in the IC-RM system), respectively. The aforementioned findings offer an opportunity to incorporate GlcN·HCl in oral insulin delivery systems in order to enhance a reduction in blood glucose levels.