Sitagliptin vs Vildagliptin: Comparing Januvia Vs Galvus

Sitagliptin vs Vildagliptin

sitagliptin vs vildagliptin januvia vs galvus comparison

Sitagliptin (Januvia) Vs Vildagliptin (Galvus) is a comparison of the two commonly used anti-diabetic medicines. Both the drugs belong to the class of diabetes medicines called DPP-IV inhibitors. These drugs act by increasing the half-life of endogenous incretin levels.

Sitagliptin vs Vildagliptin MOA – How do these drugs act?

The effect of these drugs is by increasing the half-life of endogenous incretins. The endogenous incretins are metabolized rapidly in the body by the enzymes DPP-IV (di-peptidyl peptidase IV).

Sitagliptin and vildagliptin inhibit the enzyme DPP-IV resulting in increasing the half-life of incretins. The primary incretins in the human body are GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide 1) and GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide).

Thus, these drugs enhance the release of insulin in a glucose-dependent manner and suppress glucagon levels. These drugs also act by increasing the sensitivity to insulin in the liver and pancreas. This, in turn, lowers the glucose levels in the bloodstream.

Both Drugs inhibit the enzyme DPP-IV, increasing the half-life of Incretins

Sitagliptin vs Vildagliptin – The drugs’ similarities

Both these drugs work by inhibiting the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase-4, which breaks down the endogenous incretins into metabolites. The increase in the half-life of incretins means that they remain in the blood for a longer time.

Both Sitagliptin and Vildagliptin work in a glucose-dependent mechanism and are less likely to cause significant hypoglycemia unless they are used in combination with either insulin or sulfonylurea.

Both Sita and Vilda do not cause hypoglycemia

Both Sitagliptin and Vildagliptin have cardioprotective properties. Sitagliptin has vasoactive properties while vildagliptin reduces the prostacyclin levels. In one study, both drugs reduced the BNP and prostacyclin levels [Ref].

Both Sitagliptin and Vildagliptin are Cardioprotective

In patients with severe renal insufficiency, both the drugs require dose adjustment. Sitagliptin in a dose of 25 mg once daily was equally effective compared to vildagliptin 50 mg once daily in patients with advanced kidney disease with a GFR of less than 30 ml/minute [Ref].

Both Sitagliptin and Vildagliptin require dose adjustment in advanced kidney disease

The side effect profile of the two drugs is the same. Both cause gastrointestinal side effects including bloating, fullness, nausea, and vomiting. Other side effects of the drug include skeletal pains and bullous skin eruptions.

There is a risk of pancreatitis with both the drugs and should be avoided in patients with a history of pancreatitis. Both drugs are contraindicated in pregnancy, history of recurrent pancreatitis, and MEN II syndrome.

Avoid both Sitagliptin and Vildagliptin in Pancreatitis

Sitagliptin was approved by the FDA in 2006 and marketed by the brand name Januvia in 2007. In the same year, Vildagliptin was approved and marketed by the brand name Galvus.

Sitagliptin vs Vildagliptin – The drugs’ differences

Sitagliptin and Vildagliptin differ in their half-lives. Sitagliptin has a half-life of around 12.4 hours and the time to reach peak plasma concentration after oral administration is about 1 – 4 hours.

Vildagliptin has a shorter half-life of about 90 minutes and is administered twice daily. The maximum enzyme inhibition is seen within 30 minutes, however, the effect of the drug causing greater than 50% enzyme inhibition is observed for as long as 10 hours after the drug administration.

Sitagliptin has a half-life of 12 hours While Vildagliptin has a half-life of 90 minutes

The efficacy of the drug in some studies has been found comparable, however, it is generally conceived that vildagliptin is slightly superior in terms of its glycemic efficacy. One study conducted in Japan evaluated the role of 50 mg once daily sitagliptin and 50 mg twice daily vildagliptin. Patients in the vildagliptin had better glycemic control with a 0.3% greater reduction in the glycated hemoglobin [Ref].

Another study evaluated 50 mg once daily sitagliptin and 50 mg twice daily vildagliptin. It was observed that patients in both groups had a similar mean 24-hour blood glucose control. However, the MAGE (maximum amplitude of glycemic excursions) was better controlled with twice daily vildagliptin [Ref].

Vildagliptin (Galvus) is more potent in controlling post meals blood glucose when administered twice daily compared to Sitagliptin (Januvia) administered once daily.

Sitagliptin vs Vildagliptin – How to take the drugs?

Both the drugs are available as oral tablets alone or in combination with metformin. Sitagliptin is usually administered once daily while vildagliptin is administered twice daily due to its shorter half-life. The drugs are preferably administered with or between meals.


Sitagliptin and Vildagliptin are two drugs from the same class, DPP IV inhibitors. Both drugs have a similar mechanism of action, side effects profile, and comparable efficacies. However, Vildagliptin is thought to better control post-meal blood glucose and has a shorter half-life necessitating twice-daily administration.

What do you think?

Written by Diabetes Doctor

I am an Internist practicing medicine for the last fifteen years. Over the years, I have learned that medicine is not about prescribing pills. True medical practice is helping people.
I do prescribe pills as well but the best results I get are when I motivate people to overcome their problems with little changes in their lifestyles.
Since most of my patients are obese, have diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, I am writing at when free.
Dibesity, I know the correct word is diabesity. Ignore this! Be with us.

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