Meds and you

Updated 11 February 2013

Sucralfate

Sucralfate is prescribed to treat ulcers of the stomach and the first part of the small intestine that connects to the stomach, the duodenum.

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Sucralfate is the active ingredient of Ulsanic.

General information

Sucralfate is prescribed to treat ulcers of the stomach and the first part of the small intestine that connects to the stomach, the duodenum. It is also effective in treating gastro-oesophageal reflux, the backward flow of stomach acid contents into the oesophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach.

Sucralfate does not neutralise stomach acid, but instead forms a gel when reacting with stomach acid. This gel forms a protective film over the ulcerated or inflamed area of the stomach or oesophagus and protects the affected area for up to six hours.

For sucralfate to be effective, it has to be taken regularly. If compliance is met, this medication will show favourable results.

Little of the drug is absorbed systemically and side effects are minimal.

How does sucralfate work?

Sucralfate forms a gel when reacting with stomach acid. This gel forms a protective film over the ulcerated or inflamed area of the stomach or oesophagus.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 0

Available as: sucralfate is available as tablets and suspension

What does it do ? sucralfate coats ulcers and speeds up healing

Overdose risk: low

Dependence risk: low

Is sucralfate available as a generic? no

Is sucralfate available on prescription only? no

User information

Onset of effect: within 12 hours

Duration of action: up to 6 hours

Dietary advice : sucralfate should best be taken 60 minutes prior to a meal and at bedtime on an empty stomach

Stopping this medicine: do not stop taking sucralfate without consulting your doctor. Symptoms may recur with premature discontinuation

Prolonged use: safety has not been established for treatment exceeding 12 weeks. Vitamin A, D, E and K may be depleted with extended use and supplements may be needed.

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have kidney disease
  • you are taking any other medication

Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: this medication is safe use.

Porphyria: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: this medication is generally not used in children.

The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.

Driving and hazardous work: caution is advised as use of this medication may lead to dizziness. Avoid such activities until you know how this medication affects you.

Alcohol: avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication it may reduce the efficacy of sucralfate

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

constipation

x

x

diarrhoea

x

x

nausea

x

x

abdominal discomfort

x

x

indigestion

x

x

dry mouth

x

x

dizziness/ drowsiness

x

x

skin rash/ itchy skin

x

x

Interactions

Drug interactions

antacids

reduced effect of sucralfate

cardiac glycosides

absorption of this drug may be affected - take at least 3 hours apart from sucralfate

cimetidine

absorption of this drug may be affected - take at least 3 hours apart from sucralfate

digoxin

absorption of this drug may be affected - take at least 3 hours apart from sucralfate

ketoconazole

absorption of this drug may be affected - take at least 3 hours apart from sucralfate

phenytoin

absorption of this drug may be affected - take at least 3 hours apart from sucralfate

quinidine

absorption of this drug may be affected - take at least 3 hours apart from sucralfate

quinolone/ tetracycline antibiotics

absorption of this drug may be affected - take at least 3 hours apart from sucralfate

ranitidine

absorption of this drug may be affected - take at least 3 hours apart from sucralfate

thyroxine

absorption of this drug may be affected - take at least 3 hours apart from sucralfate

warfarin

absorption of this drug may be affected - take at least 3 hours apart from sucralfate

Disease interactions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have kidney disease

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 1g 4 times a day

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 

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