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Drug update

Vildagliptin for the management of type 2 diabetes

Sarah J Glastras, Greg Fulcher

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Abstract

Vildagliptin (Galvus) is a new therapeutic option for patients with type 2 diabetes who are inadequately controlled on monotherapy with metformin or a sulfonylurea. It offers the advantage of improving glycaemic control with a low risk of hypoglycaemia and is not associated with weight gain.

Article Extract

What is vildagliptin?

Vildagliptin (Galvus) is an oral medication used to improve glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. It works as a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor (see Figure). This means that the DPP-4 enzyme cannot degrade the incretin hormones, glucagon-like polypeptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP), which are produced in response to oral food intake. An increase in GLP-1 levels produces a glucose-dependent increase of insulin secretion and reduces glucagon secretion from pancreatic β- and α-cells, respectively. Vildagliptin reduces blood glucose levels and is most beneficial in reducing postprandial blood glucose elevations in patients with type 2 diabetes.

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