Carafate generically known as sucralfate is an anti-ulcer medication that is prescribed to treat and prevent ulcers in the stomach and intestines. It is a type of medication known as a proton pump inhibitor. It works by forming a protective coating over the ulcer, which helps to protect it from further damage and promotes healing.
Carafate can also be used in combination with other medications to treat certain types of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Carafate reduces acid production and provides relief from ulcer-related symptoms like nausea, heartburn, and indigestion.
This medication is often prescribed by doctors as a short-term treatment plan for those suffering from ulcers or lesions in their gastrointestinal tract. Carafate (Sucralfate) is effective in healing an active ulcer, but it cannot prevent future ulcers from happening.
Uses and Dosage
Carafate (Sucralfate) comes in the form of tablets to take orally by mouth. Take it on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before a meal to maximize its effectiveness, as food and other medications can interfere with its absorption. Taking it at the same time each day will help to ensure that the level of the medication in your system remains consistent.
The recommended adult oral dosage for duodenal ulcer is 1 gram four times per day. After the ulcer has healed, the tablets can be continued at the recommended dose of 1 gram by mouth twice per day. CARAFATE Oral tablets should be taken at least one hour before meals or at bedtime on an empty stomach, as food can interfere with the absorption of this medication.
Common side effects of Carafate include:
- Back pain
- Sleep problems (insomnia)
- Upset stomach
Serious Side Effects of Carafate Include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
Form and Strength
Carafate (Sucralfate) is available in the following forms and strengths:
- Elderly people taking sucralfate (Carafate) with aluminum-containing antacids or supplements may be at greater risk of developing high aluminum levels. People with healthy kidneys taking recommended doses of sucralfate (Carafate) and/or aluminum-containing products should be able to eliminate extra aluminum in their urine.
- Always let your doctor and pharmacist know about any medications or supplements (including prescribed, over the counter, vitamins, and dietary or herbal supplements) you are taking, as Sucralfate (Carafate) may interact with them.
- Avoid taking any other medications within two hours of taking Carafate, as Sucralfate can reduce the body’s ability to absorb other medications taken orally.
- Before taking an antacid, ask your doctor which type is recommended, as some antacids can reduce the effectiveness of Sucralfate (Carafate). Avoid taking an antacid within 30 minutes before or after taking Carafate.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long do I need to take sucralfate (Carafate)?
In general, treatment with sucralfate (Carafate) lasts 1-2 months, or until your provider sees that your ulcer has healed through imaging.
Why can’t I take sucralfate (Carafate) with food?
Sucralfate (Carafate) should be taken on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after food, for it to effectively reach the lining of your stomach and intestines and protect your ulcer. Food can block the medication’s way. And when it is blocked, sucralfate (Carafate) won’t work as well to protect your ulcer and allow it to heal.
How should Carafate (Sucralfate) be taken?
Carafate (Sucralfate) should be taken on an empty stomach, one hour before or two hours after meals. It is important to take Carafate (Sucralfate) exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
Is Carafate (Sucralfate) safe for long-term use?
Generally, Carafate (Sucralfate) is safe for long-term use. However, it is important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any potential side effects or interactions with other medications.