Why is this medication prescribed?
Sucralfate is used to treat and prevent the return of duodenal ulcers (ulcers located in first part of the small intestine). Treatment with other medications, such as antibiotics, may also be necessary to treat and prevent the return of ulcers caused by a certain type of bacteria (H. pylori) Sucralfate is in a class of medications called protectants. It sticks to damaged ulcer tissue and protects against acid and enzymes so healing can occur.
How should this medicine be used?
Sucralfate comes as a tablet and liquid to take by mouth. If you are taking sucralfate to treat ulcers, the tablets or liquid usually are taken four times a day. If you are taking sucralfate to prevent an ulcer from returning after it has healed), the tablets usually are taken twice a day. Take sucralfate on an empty stomach, 2 hours after or 1 hour before meals. Take sucralfate around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take sucralfate exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Shake the liquid well before each use to mix the medication evenly.
This medicine must be taken regularly to be effective. It may take up to 8 weeks for ulcers to heal.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking sucralfate,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to sucralfate, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in sucralfate tablets or liquid. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin); cimetidine (Tagamet); cinoxacin (Cinobac); ciprofloxacin (Cipro); digoxin (Lanoxin); enoxacin (Penetrex); ketoconazole (Nizoral); levofloxacin (Levaquin); levothyroxine (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid); lomefloxacin (Maxaquin); nalidixic acid (NegGram); norfloxacin (Noroxin); ofloxacin (Floxin); phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); quinidine; ranitidine (Zantac); sparfloxacin (Zagam); tetracycline; and theophylline (Theo-24) If you are taking any of these medicines, take them at least 2 hours before taking sucralfate. Your doctor also may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- if you are taking antacids, take them at least 30 minutes before or after sucralfate.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease, diabetes, or any conditions that may cause difficulty swallowing or that may affect your gag or cough reflexes. Also tell your doctor if you have other gastrointestinal disorders or if you are receiving enteral tube feedings.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking sucralfate, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Sucralfate may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, or lips
Sucralfate may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not freeze sucralfate liquid.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- abdominal pain
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to sucralfate.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.