• Vildagliptin is given to reduce blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes. It is given with other antidiabetic medicines.
  • Remember to follow any advice you have been given about your diet and taking exercise.
  • Make sure you know how to recognise the symptoms of low blood sugar. These include feeling shaky or anxious, sweating, looking pale, feeling hungry, having palpitations, and feeling dizzy.

About vildagliptin

Type of medicine Antidiabetic medicine
Used for Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Also called Galvus®
Eucreas® (vildagliptin with metformin)
Available as Tablets

Insulin is a hormone which is made naturally in your body, in the pancreas. It helps to control the levels of sugar in your blood. If your body does not make enough insulin to meet its needs, or if it does not use the insulin it makes effectively, this results in the condition called diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes).

People with diabetes need treatment to control the amount of glucose (sugar) in their blood. This is because good control of blood sugar levels reduces the risk of complications later on. Some people can control the sugar in their blood by making changes to the food they eat but, for other people, medicines like vildagliptin are given alongside changes in diet.

Vildagliptin works in part by increasing the amount of insulin produced by your body, which then controls the level of sugar in your blood. It also reduces the amount of a substance called glucagon being produced by your pancreas. Glucagon causes your liver to produce more sugar; so, by reducing the amount of glucagon in your body, this also helps to reduce the levels of sugar in your blood.

Vildagliptin is given alone or alongside other antidiabetic medicines.

Before taking vildagliptin

Before taking vildagliptin make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are under 18 years of age.
  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have heart, kidney or liver problems.
  • If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.

How to take vildagliptin

  • Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack.
  • Take vildagliptin tablets exactly as your doctor has told you. Your doctor will ask you to take one or two doses a day depending on what other medicines you are taking alongside vildagliptin.
  • If you have been told to take one dose of vildagliptin each day, take it in the morning. If you have been told to take two doses each day, take your first dose in the morning and the second dose in the evening.
  • You can take the vildagliptin tablets before, during or after meals.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
  • If you have been given a combination tablet of vildagliptin and metformin (Eucreas®), you should take these tablets twice daily with meals.Taking these tablets with food will reduce the risk of a stomach upset.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • It is important that you keep your regular doctor's and clinic appointments. This is so your progress can be monitored. You are likely to need regular check-ups with an eye clinic and a foot clinic as well as with your doctor and diabetes clinic.
  • Your doctor may recommend that you test for sugar in your blood or urine regularly to check that your diabetes is being controlled. Your doctor or diabetes nurse will show you how to do this.
  • If you have been given advice by your doctor about changes to your diet, stopping smoking or taking regular exercise, it is important for you to follow the advice you have been given.
  • Check with your doctor before taking up any new physical exercise, as this will have an effect on your blood sugar levels and you may need to check your blood or urine levels more regularly.
  • Taking vildagliptin and alcohol may affect the control of your blood sugar. Keep to the recommended alcohol limits.
  • If you are due to have an operation or dental treatment, you should tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are diabetic and taking vildagliptin.
  • If you get unusually thirsty, pass urine more frequently, and feel very tired, then let your doctor know. Your dose of vildagliptin may need adjusting.
  • If you are a driver you should take special care as your ability to concentrate may be affected if your diabetes is not well-controlled. Make sure you know what it feels like if your blood sugar is low. This is known as hypoglycaemia or a 'hypo'. The first signs of hypoglycaemia are: feeling shaky or anxious, sweating, looking pale, feeling hungry, having palpitations (a feeling that your heart is pounding), and feeling dizzy. If these happen you should eat or drink something containing sugar or have a snack straightaway. It is advisable to check your blood or urine glucose levels before you travel on long journeys and have a snack with you.

Can vildagliptin cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.

Common vildagliptin side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine What can I do if I experience this?
Symptoms of hypoglycaemia: feeling shaky or anxious, sweating, looking pale, feeling hungry, feeling that your heart is pounding, feeling dizzy Eat something containing sugar, such as a biscuit or a sugary drink (not diet), and follow this up with a snack such as a sandwich. Tell your doctor if you notice these symptoms
Feeling dizzy or tired If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines
Headache Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller
Swollen hands or feet, feeling shaky, feeling sick If any of these become troublesome, let your doctor or nurse know at your next appointment

Important: if you get any of the following rare but serious symptoms, speak with your doctor immediately or go to your local accident and emergency department straightaway:

  • Jaundice (a liver problem which causes your eyes or skin to go yellow).
  • Severe abdominal pain.
  • Severe skin rash or blistering.

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store vildagliptin

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.