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

Type of medicine Also called
  • Medication for type 2 diabetes
  • Vildagliptin

What is Galvus?

Galvus is 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 reduces the amount of a substance called glucagon being 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. 

Galvus is available as tablets (50 milligrams). Read more about type 2 diabetes


  • The usual dose of Galvus is 1 tablet (50 milligrams) once a day or two times 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

  • Timing: If you have been told to take one dose of Galvus 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 Galvus before, during or after food.
  • Swallow your tablets whole, with a drink of water. If you have problems swallowing Galvus tablets, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Read more about tips for swallowing tablets and capsules.  
  • Limit alcohol while taking Galvus. Taking Galvus and alcohol may affect the control of your blood glucose.
  • 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 two 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 – before taking Galvus

  • Do you have problems with your liver or kidneys?
  • Do you problems with your heart such as heart failure?
  • Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • Are you are taking or using any other medicines? This includes any medicines you are using which are available to buy from a pharmacy, supermarket or natural health store without a prescription.

If so, it’s important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start taking Galvus. Sometimes a medicine isn’t suitable for a person with certain conditions, or it can only be used with extra care.

Side effects

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
  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • These are quite common when you first start taking Galvus
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Swollen hands or feet
  • Constipation 
  • Tell your doctor 
  • Signs of problems with your pancreas such as ongoing and severe tummy (stomach) pain
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116 
  • Signs of problems with your liver such as tummy pain, your skin and eyes turn a yellow colour, itchy skin, your pee is a dark colour, your poos are a pale colour
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116 


Galvus may interact with a few medications and herbal supplements, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting Galvus or before starting any new medicines.

Learn more

Galvus Medsafe Consumer Information


  1. Vildagliptin New Zealand Formulary 
  2. Vildagliptin: a new treatment for type 2 diabetes BPAC, 2018
Credits: Sandra Ponen, pharmacist. Reviewed By: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland Last reviewed: 30 Sep 2018