Patient Information on CARAFATE (Sucralfate)

Manufactured by: Axcan Scandipharm Inc.

How is Carafate supplied and what is it used for?

This product is specifically used for improving the ulcerated and inflamed conditions of the stomach and its lining. Ulcers can cause severe pain, bleeding, distention of the abdomen, nausea, and vomiting, heartburn, reduction in the body weight. You should know that there are certain factors due to which ulcers occur but the major ones are the over usage or use for a longer period of pain relieving medications known as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and due to the infection by a gram –negative bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori which can spread through contaminated water, exposure to fecal contents.

It comes in the form of a suspension to be taken by mouth. It contains 1g/10mL of sucralfate.

What are the points you should know before using Carafate?

You need to know that;

  • If you after administering Carafate develop any sort of skin condition or face problem while breathing… cease the medication and seek help from a medical personnel.
  • You may start feeling better after 2 weeks of taking the drug but it is essential that you continue the treatment for 4-8 weeks in order to allow the ulcers to heal completely.
  • For full protective impacts of Carafate, you should take this medicine about 1-2 hours before eating a meal.
  • Do not take supplements or products that have Aluminum in them along with Carafate.
  • When taking Carafate monitor your blood glucose levels regularly if diabetic.
  • Avoid this drug if you have a gulping or a swallowing issue.
  • You should avoid drinking too much alcohol when on treatment for ulcers.
  • There are equivalent chances for the ulcers to reoccur after treatment with Carafate.
  • Your doctor may ask you to take antacids for additional healing, in such a case take antacids half an hour after taking the initial dose of Carafate and not along with it.

Dosing: according to your doctor’s advice. 

How to take Carafate?

Take it on unfilled stomach about one hour before the mealtime. Do not take it with juice or any other beverage. Shake the bottle completely before pouring the liquid. Only use the graduated measuring spoon for this purpose. Administer antacids 30 minutes after Carafate and continue the treatment for complete 8 weeks.

 Considerations in specific populations:

  • Pregnancy: it is a pregnancy class B Although animal studies have shown no harm to the unborn, it is still suggested to use this drug cautiously and on the advice of your doctor.
  • Lactation: if you are a nursing mother, talk to your doctor before considering treatment with Carafate because of the fact that sucralfate gets emitted in human milk and may produce unwanted side effects in your baby.
  • Pediatric patients: the viability and security are yet to be set up in kids.
  • Elderly patients: in old people, Carafate is started at low doses and then titrated up if required because of a maximum population of such patients either have co-morbidities or are on multiple medications that can interact with Carafate and deter each other’s working.

Adverse effects of this drug: include;

Most of the side effects produced by it are on the digestive/gastric system which includes constipation, stomachache, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, gastric distress, dry mouth, bloating and gas, stony formation in the stomach.

Side effects apart from the digestive framework comprise of dizziness, headache, restlessness, allergic reactions, raised levels of blood glucose (monitor if diabetic).

What kind of precautions does this drug require?

You need to be cautious in the following cases;

  • if you are oversensitive to any one or more ingredients present in it. [check ingredients]
  • if you have diabetes mellitus
  • if you have developed a kidney problem
  • If you have to take any other medicines along with it (take next medicine 30 mins after)
  • There is probability of reappearance of the ulcer
  • If you have difficulty in swallowing
  • if you have an injured kidney or any sort of its disease

Which drugs does Carafate interact with?

If you take antibiotics like ketoconazole, fluoroquinolones, tetracycline or other drugs like theophylline, digoxin, phenytoin, thyroxin or cimetidine with sucralfate, it will in the stomach bind to these drugs and form a complex thus lessening the absorption of those drugs which will eventually lead to a lesser exposure and effect by the bound drugs.

Pharmacology of Carafate:

Mechanism of action: it shows a protectant effect on the mucosal layers of the stomach and duodenum by forming adherent complexes with the ulcer and thus protects the stomach lining and ulcer from further damage by the acid present in the gastro.

Absorption:  it experiences just negligible ingestion.

The onset of action or when it starts its action: it usually takes up to one-two hours before a patient start experiencing relief.

Duration of action or for how long the action sustains: up to 6 hours maximum.

Metabolism: does not undergo metabolic transformation

Excretion or Elimination: it is a dialyzable drug and its major site from which it is expelled out of the body is through kidneys in urine.

In specific patients: it is an Aluminum containing product and can raise the levels of Aluminum in your body to a clinically significant level if you suffer from a severe kidney disease or failure.

Danger profile of Carafate:

This product revealed no evidence for the production of tumors, cancer or infertile problems in animals subjected to it during pre-clinical stages.

Things you should inform your doctor about:

  • your pregnancy
  • if you are breast-feeding
  • about your kidney related problems of if you are on dialysis
  • your past allergies
  • if you drink alcohol
  • if you have any other gastric indication

What ingredients are present in Carafate?

It has sucralfate for the active and contains sorbitol solution USP, methylcellulose USP, colloidal silicon dioxide NF, FD&C Red #40, simethicone USP, flavor, glycerin USP, methylparaben NF, microcrystalline cellulose NF as inactive forms.






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