Sucralfate, also called karafat , is a prescription drug used to treat duodenal ulcers that form in the first part of the small intestine. Duodenal ulcers are a type of peptic ulcer . This type of ulcer forms when acids made to improve digestion wear down the lining of the stomach or small intestine.
Duodenal ulcer symptoms include:
- Stomach or chest pain
- Feeling nauseous or full after eating small amounts of food.
- Lack of appetite
- Lose weight when you don't try
- Nausea or vomiting in the stomach;
- Blood in vomit or stool.
In the past, health professionals thought that ulcers were caused by stress, but today we know that peptic ulcers are generally caused by bacteria ( H. pylori ) that damage the lining of the stomach or small intestine. Sometimes ulcers can form when patients take high doses of NSAIDs, such as over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Taking large amounts of these medications or taking them for a long time can drain the stomach lining and cause ulcers.
Mechanism of action
Karafate is a medicine called remedies. These drugs stick to damaged tissues in the lining of the stomach or small intestine and protect them from digestive acids and enzymes during healing.
Protectants are not absorbed into the body like other drugs. Instead, they act as a coating that helps keep the ulcer from getting worse. Carafate is prescribed to treat active ulcers, but the drug does not prevent new ulcers from forming. The doctor may also prescribe additional medications, such as antibiotics, for patients who are at risk of developing additional ulcers.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe Carafate in tablet or liquid form. The liquid form is sometimes called a karafat suspension .
For active stomach ulcers, the tablet or liquid dose is usually taken several times a day. For the medicine to work, you must take Carafate exactly as directed by your healthcare provider. Ulcers can take several weeks ( up to eight ) to heal.
Generally, your healthcare provider will recommend that you take Karafat:
- Inside, in the form of tablets or liquid.
- At the same time every day
- On an empty stomach, one hour before meals or two hours after meals.
Karafate can cause minor side effects, although they are rarely serious enough for people to stop taking the drug. The most common side effect is constipation, which occurs in about 2 percent of patients .
Other side effects include:
- Stomach ache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Trouble sleeping
Serious side effects are rare but possible. Seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms after starting Carafate:
- Rash or hives
- Difficulty breathing
- Signs of an anaphylactic allergic reaction (swelling of the throat or mouth)
- Patients with kidney disease or diabetes cannot take Carafat. Tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions or if you are being treated for them (for example, you are on dialysis).
- If you have diabetes, your healthcare provider will monitor you for episodes of low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) that may occur while you are taking Karafat.
- Karafate can affect the way your body breaks down certain medications. Make sure to inform your doctor of any medications you are taking before starting Carafate.
- If you are taking certain medications , such as antacids, antibiotics, or blood thinners (warfarin), your healthcare provider may recommend that you take less or stop taking them while you are taking Karafat. Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications you are taking, even if they are over-the-counter, herbal, or dietary supplements.
- Based on available research, the American College of Gastroenterology believes that Carafate is safe for pregnant women. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
- It is not known if Karafat is safe or effective for children. Keep this medicine out of the reach of children.
Do not take more of this medication than prescribed by your healthcare professional. If you miss an appointment, take it as soon as you remember. Carafate overdose is not common, but if you think you have taken too much, call the poison control department at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the emergency room.
Get the word of drug information
Karafate is a safe and effective prescription drug used to treat duodenal ulcers. Before you start taking Karafat, tell your doctor if you have conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease, are breastfeeding, pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or have had any previous adverse reactions to medications such as Karafat.
Tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking, even if they are over-the-counter or dietary / herbal supplements. Karafat can change the way your body metabolizes certain medications, so your healthcare provider may ask you to take less or stop taking certain medications while taking Karafat.
Make sure you take exactly the amount your healthcare provider has prescribed, and take the amount of medicine prescribed. Duodenal ulcers take several weeks (up to eight) to heal. Karafate can cause minor side effects, although they are generally not so serious that patients must stop taking the drug. If you experience serious side effects, such as swelling in your mouth or difficulty breathing, stop taking Carafate and call your doctor.