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.
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.