Drug formulations for systemic drug delivery with improved stability and rapid onset of action are described herein. The formulations may be administered via buccal administration, sublingual administration, pulmonary delivery, nasal administration, subcutaneous administration, rectal administration, vaginal administration, or ocular administration. In the preferred embodiments, the formulations are administered sublingually or via subcutaneous injection. The formulations contain an active agent and one or more excipients, selected to increase the rate of dissolution. In the preferred embodiment, the drug is insulin, and the excipients include a metal chelator such as EDTA and an acid such as citric acid. Following administration, these formulations are rapidly absorbed by the oral mucosa when administered sublingually and are rapidly absorbed into the blood stream when administered by subcutaneous injection. In one embodiment, the composition is in the form of a dry powder. In another embodiment, the composition is in the form of a film, wafer, lozenge, capsule, or tablet. In a third embodiment, a dry powdered insulin is mixed with a diluent containing a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, such as water or saline, a metal chelator such as EDTA and an acid such as citric acid. Devices for storing and mixing these formulations are also described.