Sucralfate side effects and drug information

Sucralfate is a type of medication that is used to treat and prevent duodenal ulcers. It forms a coat or barrier over the ulcer, which protects it from stomach acid and helping it to heal. Sucralfate has aluminum salt. It can only be used up to 8 weeks to treat ulcers.

Metabolism GI; liver
Trade name Carafate
CAS ID 54182-58-0
Formula C12H54Al16O75S8
Molar mass 2,086.75 g/mol
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You are only allowed to get and use sucralfate with a doctor’s prescription, and it’s available into two dosage forms:

  • Tablet
  • Suspension

Side Effects

Sucralfate has its list of side effects that you need to know. If you are taking this medication and you experience any of these, you have to consult your doctor immediately so you can discuss your condition together:

  • blurred vision
  • blue fingernails and lips
  • cough
  • chest pain
  • problems with breathing such as difficulty, noisy, or fast
  • difficulty swallowing
  • feeling of fullness
  • dry mouth
  • dry skin
  • hoarseness
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • increased hunger
  • increase thirst
  • increased sweating
  • increased urination
  • loss of appetite
  • pale skin
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • swelling of face, lips, mouth, or throat
  • swelling of ankles and legs
  • unexplained weight loss
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual weakness or tiredness
  • vomiting

Most side effects won’t require treatment since they may eventually go away if your body has adjusted with this medication. If you experience many of these side effects, you must talk to your doctor and inform him right away. He may recommend you some ways on how to prevent or minimize the side effects of sucralfate. 

If you experience the following less common or rare side effects, you also need to inform your doctor:

  • constipation – this is a less common side effect when you are using sucralfate
  • backache
  • bloated
  • diarrhea
  • lightheadedness or dizziness
  • stomach or intestines have excess air/gas
  • itching, hives, skin rash
  • indigestion
  • spinning sensation
  • passing gas
  • sleepiness
  • trouble sleeping
  • stomach cramps

Other side effects that are not listed above may happen to some patients. If you notice or experience any health trouble while taking this medication, you need to inform your doctor immediately.

Indication and Dosage

If you are using this medication under your doctor’s supervision, you need to follow his every instruction. The dosage of sucralfate will be different from every patient. Since you will need a proper consultation with your health care provider, you may have a different dose from another patient who was prescribed with sucralfate. You should never change your dose as well unless your doctor says so. 

Your doctor will specify the strength of your medicine and its amount. Strictly follow the dose each day, your medication schedule, and the manner on how you should take your dosage. 

Oral Dosage Form (Suspension)

Treatment for duodenal ulcers

  • Adults – 1gr or 10mL and must be taken four times every day and with an empty stomach for four to eight weeks
  • Children – the use and dose for children must be determined by a doctor. Don’t administer this medication without consultation.

Oral Dosage Form (Tablets)

Treatment for duodenal ulcers

  • Adults – 1g and must be taken four times every day and with an empty stomach for four to eight weeks
  • Children – the use and dose for children must be determined by a doctor. Don’t administer this medication without consultation.

Prevention of duodenal ulcers

  • Adults – 1g and must be taken two times every day and with an empty stomach
  • Children – the use and dose for children must be determined by a doctor. Don’t administer this medication without consultation.

Drug Interaction 

Some medicines must not be taken with other medications. But there are cases where two various medicines are prescribed despite the chances of interaction. If this is your case, your doctor may adjust the dose of the other medication, or provide necessary precautions. 

Before taking sucralfate, you need to inform your doctor if you are using other medications for a specific medical condition. More importantly, your doctor should know if you are using any of these medications like cialis listed below before he can give you a sucralfate prescription:

  • Digoxin
  • Bictegravir
  • Dolutegravir
  • Ketoconazole
  • Elvitegravir
  • Raltegravir

When you are using other medications while taking sucralfate, there is a possibility that you are increasing your risk to different side effects. But if your doctor sees the need to do it so treatment will be more effective, he will make the necessary recommendations. If you are taking two or more medications, your doctor will adjust your dose or the frequency of your intake with both medicines.

  • Fleroxacin
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Delafloxacin
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Trovafloxacin Mesylate
  • Grepafloxacin
  • Norfloxacin
  • Ofloxacin
  • Warfarin
  • Sparfloxacin

Other Interactions

Some medicines must not be used or taken while you are eating certain foods because they can trigger interaction. You should also avoid using alcohol or tobacco while taking sucralfate because you can increase your risk of interaction. As much as possible, discuss your concern with foods, alcohol, and tobacco together with your doctor.

Warnings and Precautions

Many medications can bring side effects to the patient. But when taking a certain medication, the relief should outweigh every side effect. You can determine this with the help of your doctor or any health care provider. For sucralfate, you and your doctor will need to consider the following:

Allergies – during your first consultation with your doctor, you need to inform him about your history of allergy. If you have food, medicine, or other allergies, list them and present it to your doctor. If you experience an allergic reaction after taking your first dose, you need to stop taking this medication and inform your doctor immediately.

Pediatric – there is no current research or study which can determine the effectiveness of sucralfate to the age of a person. This medication may or may not benefit the pediatric population. It’s important to establish safety and efficacy before you start administering sucralfate to your child.

Geriatric – since older adults are at high risk of age-related diseases that involve kidney, liver, and heart, taking this medication requires extra caution. Doctors may need to adjust the dose of older adult patients who will take sucralfate.

Breastfeeding – no study can show that this medication has a risk or no risk for an infant or breastfeeding woman. Your doctor and your doctor need to weigh the benefits and potential risks of sucralfate before you take your first dose.

Other medical problems – There are medical problems that can interfere or affect the use of this medication. You need to inform your doctor if you have any of the following medical conditions:

  • Diabetes – you need to take this medication with extra caution since you have a high risk of worsening your condition.
  • Kidney disease – you need to take this medication with extra caution since its effect may increase because it will take a while before the medicine can exit the body.
  • Stomach and bowel disease – this medication may bind with the different foods and drugs and can cause stomach blockage and bowels.

Overdose and Contraindication

You should never take doses higher than your doctor’s prescription. Overdose of sucralfate can lead to a more severe condition that may be life-threatening. That’s why it is important that you strictly follow every instruction from your health care provider.

In case you experience sucralfate overdose, you need to call your doctor immediately and seek emergency medical attention. Visit the nearest hospital in your area or call your local Poison Help Line. 

Clinical Pharmacology

Sucralfate protects your gastric lining from pepsin, peptic acid, and bile salts by forming a protective coating. This medication’s clinical pharmacology is as follow:

  • Absorption – oral: minimal for GI tract
  • Distribution – it acts in the area of ulcer sites
  • Metabolism – none
  • Excretion – the primary way is urine
  • The onset of action – formation or paste and ulcer adhesion 

Medication Guide

No matter what your medical condition is, you will need to follow proper instructions when taking your medicine. To maximize the effect of sucralfate, you need to follow these medication guides:

  • Take this medication according to your doctor’s guide. You should strictly follow every instruction from your doctor. Never take a dose higher than your prescription, and don’t take it more often. Do not prolong your medication schedule without the instruction from your doctor.
  • Complete your full-time treatment. You should never stop or restart this medication without the instruction of your doctor. If you feel any better while taking a few doses, you need to continue your medication until the last day of your treatment.
  • Take this medication in an empty stomach. Since this is a medication for ulcers, you need to take every dose in an empty stomach.
  • Use oral liquid properly. Before taking your dose, shake the bottle well to make sure that the concentration is evenly distributed. Always use a measuring spoon, medicine cup, or oral syringe to get the exact amount of your medicine.
  • Other medication guides. If you are unsure about the other medications that you take (antacid, cimetidine, norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, digoxin, or ranitidine), always ask your doctor’s advice.

Sucralfate can save you from many discomforts caused by duodenal ulcers as long as you follow the right instructions.