Galvus (vildagliptin)

Galvus is used to treat type 2 diabetes. Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects. Galvus is also called Vildagliptin.

What is Galvus?

Galvus (Vildagliptin) is a medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes. It may be used by itself, or it may be combined with other diabetes medication such as metformin (see Galvumet).

Galvus works by increasing the amount of insulin produced by your body and reducing the amount of glucagon produced by your pancreas. Glucagon causes your liver to produce more glucose, so by reducing the amount of glucagon in your body, this also helps to reduce the levels of glucose in your blood. Read more about type 2 diabetes. 

Dose

In Aotearoa New Zealand Galvus is available as tablets (50 mg). 

  • The usual dose of Galvus is 1 tablet once a day or twice a day.
  • Always take your Galvus exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

How to take Galvus

  • Take Galvus once or twice a day. Galvus is usually taken once a day, in the morning. If you have been told to take 2 doses each day, take your first dose in the morning and the second dose in the evening. Take your medicine at about the same time each day.
  • Swallow your tablets whole, with a drink of water. You can take the Galvus with or without food. If you have problems swallowing Galvus tablets, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Read more about tips for swallowing tablets and capsules.  
  • Missed dose: If you forget your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day. But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.
  • Keep taking Galvus regularly. To control your diabetes, you must keep taking Galvus every day. Do not stop taking Galvus suddenly, speak to your doctor or nurse before stopping.

Precautions when taking Galvus

  • Limit alcohol while taking Galvus. Having the occasional drink while you are taking Galvus is safe. However, regularly drinking excessive amounts increase your chance of side effects and reduce the effects of Galvus. Read more about diabetes and alcohol.
  • Galvus and other medicines or supplements: Galvus can interact with some medications, herbal supplements and rongoā Māori, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting Galvus and before starting any new products.

What are the side effects of Galvus?

Like all medicines, Galvus can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhoea (runny poo)
  • Runny nose, congestion, sneezing
  • Headache
  • Joint or back pain
  • These are quite common when you first start taking Galvus.
  • Tell your doctor if these symptoms bother you.
  • Swollen hands or feet
  • Constipation 
 
  • These are less common.
  • Tell your doctor.
  • Signs of problems with your pancreas such as ongoing and severe tummy (stomach) pain
  • Problems with your pancreas are rare but serious.
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline 0800 611 116. 
  • Signs of problems with your liver such as tummy pain, skin and eyes turn a yellow colour, itchy skin, pee is a dark colour, poos are a pale colour
  • Liver problems are rare but serious. 
  • Your doctor will monitor your liver function before you start Galvus and regularly while you are taking Galvus.
  • If you develop signs of liver problems, tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline 0800 611 116.
For more information on side effects, see the Medsafe consumer information leaflet/s below.

Did you know that you can report a side effect to a medicine to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product.

Learn more

Galvus Medsafe Consumer Information, NZ
Vildagliptin Patient Information (Māori) NZ Formulary, NZ

References

  1. Vildagliptin NZ Formulary, NZ
  2. Prescribing Vildagliptin for type 2 diabetes Diabetes Toolbox BPAC, NZ, 2021
  3. Possible risk of vasculitis with vildagliptin products (Galvus, Galvumet) Medsafe, NZ, Feb 2022

Additional resources for healthcare professionals

Galvus data sheet Medsafe, NZ

Credits: Health Navigator Pharmacists. Reviewed By: Maya Patel, MPharm PGDipClinPharm, Auckland Last reviewed: 04 Apr 2022