Information on Tablets A-Z
Generic name: Sucralfate
Why is this drug prescribed: Carafate Tablets and Suspension are used for the short-term treatment (up to 8 weeks) of an active duodenal ulcer; Carafate Tablets are also used for longer-term therapy at a reduced dosage after a duodenal ulcer has healed. Carafate helps ulcers heal by forming a protective coating over them. Some doctors also prescribe Carafate for ulcers in the mouth and esophagus that develop during cancer therapy, for digestive tract irritation caused by drugs, for long-term treatment of stomach ulcers, and to relieve pain following tonsil removal.
Most important fact about this drug: A duodenal ulcer is a recurring illness. While Carafate can cure an acute ulcer, it cannot prevent other ulcers from developing or lessen their severity.
How should you take this medication: Carafate works best when taken on an empty stomach. If you take an antacid to relieve pain, avoid doing it within one-half hour before or after you take Carafate. Always take Carafate exactly as prescribed. --If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature. Protect the suspension from freezing.
What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Carafate. More common side effects may include: Constipation Less common or rare side effects may include: Back pain, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, gas, headache, indigestion, insomnia, itching, nausea, possible allergic reactions, including hives and breathing difficulty, rash, sleepiness, stomach upset, vertigo, vomiting
Why should this drug not be prescribed: There are no restrictions on the use of this drug.
Special warnings about this medication: If you have kidney failure or are on dialysis, the doctor will be cautious about prescribing this drug. Use of Carafate while taking aluminum-containing antacids may increase the possibility of aluminum poisoning in those with kidney failure.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Carafate is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Carafate with the following: Antacids such as Mylanta and Maalox Blood-thinning drugs such as Coumadin Cimetidine (Tagamet) Digoxin (Lanoxin) Drugs for controlling spasms, such as Bentyl Ketoconazole (Nizoral) Levothyroxine (Synthroid) Phenytoin (Dilantin) Quinidine (Quinidex) Quinolone antibiotics such as Cipro and Floxin Ranitidine (Zantac) Tetracycline (Sumycin) Theophylline (Theo-Dur)
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of Carafate during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Carafate may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment with this medication is finished.
Recommended dosage: ADULTS: Active Duodenal Ulcer: The usual dose is 1 gram (1 tablet or 2 teaspoonfuls of suspension) 4 times a day on an empty stomach. Although your ulcer may heal during the first 2 weeks of therapy, Carafate should be continued for 4 to 8 weeks. Maintenance Therapy: The usual dose is 1 gram (1 tablet) 2 times a day. CHILDREN: The safety and effectiveness of Carafate in children have not been established.
Overdosage: Although the risk of overdose with Carafate is low, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include: Abdominal pain, indigestion, nausea, vomiting