Also prescribed in its generic form, sucralfate, Carafate
is generally used to treat as well as prevent stomach ulcers
. It works in the body by coating the ulcer in the stomach
, or any erosion that may develop into an ulcer, which protects it from the harsh enzymes, bile salts, and natural acids. This allows the site to heal.
Carafate should be prescribed specifically to treat ulcers, which requires the patient’s monitoring of meal and snack times. This medication is only effective when taken on an empty stomach either one hour before a meal or two hours after a meal. Antacids should be taken, if necessary, at least 30 minutes before or after the dose of Carafate.
Not all patients will respond well to this medication and the medical practitioner should be well advised of the patient’s medical status. Patients with a medical history which includes kidney
disease may not be able to tolerate this medicine or may require dosing alterations and further testing while undergoing treatment.
The American Food and Drug Administration determined this medication as a pregnancy risk category B. Carafate is not considered dangerous to a developing fetus. It has yet to be determined whether or not Carafate passes through the mother’s breast
milk and whether or not it will affect a nursing baby. Patients who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are nursing should discuss the risks and the benefits with the physician prior to taking this medication.
In the event that the patient misses a dose, the dose can be taken as soon as possible provided the stomach is empty and dosing instructions can be followed. If it is almost time for the next regular dose, the patient should skip the missed dose. Patients should avoid taking a double dose of this medicine without first consulting with their physician.
An overdose is not likely to cause life threatening situations, however, if an overdose is suspected, the patient should still seek immediate emergency medical advice. There are no known or specific symptoms associated with an overdose.
Side effects are common, especially when first starting Carafate. Most side effects are mild and do not require medical attention. These include dizziness
, sleepiness, nausea
, upset stomach, diarrhea
, or constipation
can be very serious and potentially life threatening. Any patient who experiences an allergic reaction should seek immediate medical intervention from the emergency room. Symptoms are likely to include swelling
of the lips
, throat, or face, distressed breathing, and hives
While Carafate does not carry a strong reputation for interacting with other medications, patients should still inform their prescribing physician before taking any new medications. This includes herbal supplements (and energy shots) vitamin supplements, over the counter medication, and prescriptions. Patients should ingest other medications at least 30 minutes prior to taking Carafate to reduce the risk of negative interactions or interference with the drug’s ability to work properly.
Treatment may last for quite awhile, more than 8 weeks in most cases. Patients with a history of chronic ulcers may need to take this medication for a life time. Patients should not take themselves off this medication as a worsening in their condition may result.
Carafate is dispensed in a liquid form, which requires the use of a medication measuring cup or spoon. Using a regular tablespoon will not allow for correct dosing and may in fact render the treatment worthless if dosing is not accurate. The pharmacy can provide the correct dosage measuring device for a small charge.
Carafate has the following structural formula:
• Molecular formula of carafate is C11H87Al9O55S8
• Chemical IUPAC Name is alumane; 3,4,5-trisulfooxy-2-(sulfooxymethyl)-6-[3,4,5-trisulfooxy-2- (sulfooxymethyl)oxolan-2-yl]oxy-oxane; icosahydrate
• Molecular weight is 1599.14 g/mol
• Carafate available : 1gm/10ml suspension, 1gm tablets