Vildagliptin is a potent and selective inhibitor of dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-4), orally active, that improves glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) primarily by enhancing pancreatic (alpha and beta) islet function. Thus vildagliptin has been shown both to improve insulin secretion and to suppress the inappropriate glucagon secretion seen in patients with T2DM. Vildagliptin reduces HbA(1c) when given as monotherapy, without weight gain and with minimal hypoglycemia, or in combination with the most commonly prescribed classes of oral hypoglycemic drugs: metformin, a sulfonylurea, a thiazolidinedione, or insulin. Metformin, with a different mode of action not addressing beta-cell dysfunction, has been used for about 50 years and still represents the universal first line therapy of all guidelines. However, given the multiple pathophysiological abnormalities in T2DM and the progressive nature of the disease, intensification of therapy with combinations is typically required over time. Recent guidelines imply that patients will require pharmacologic combinations much earlier to attain and sustain the increasingly stringent glycemic targets, with careful drug selection to avoid unwanted adverse events, especially hypoglycemia. The combination of metformin and vildagliptin offers advantages when compared to currently used combinations with additive efficacy and complimentary mechanisms of action, since it does not increase the risk of hypoglycemia and does not promote weight gain. Therefore, by specifically combining these agents in a single tablet, there is considerable potential to achieve better blood glucose control and to improve compliance to therapy.
Keywords: Eucreas®; GLP-1; HbA1c; dipeptidyl peptidase-4; incretin hormones; type 2 diabetes.