Anti-Ulcer Drugs Information and Benefits

How The Drug Works

Sucralfate helps ulcers heal by forming a protective layer on the ulcer to serve as a barrier against acid, bile salts and enzymes present in the stomach and duodenum.

Uses

For short-term treatment (up to 8 weeks) of duodenal ulcers.

For maintenance therapy for duodenal ulcer patients at reduced dosage after healing of acute ulcers.

Other User: Occasionally doctors may prescribe sucralfate for or a and esophageal ulcers caused by chemotherapy or radiation, drug induced digestive tract irritation, prevention of stress ulcers, long-term treatment of gastric (stomach) ulcers or inflammation of the esophagus. Sucralfate has also been shown to speed the healing of gastric ulcers.

Pregnancy: Adequate studies have not been done in pregnant women. Use only if clearly needed and potential benefits outweigh the possible hazards to the fetus.

Breastfeeding: It is not known if sucralfate appears in breast milk. Consult your doctor before you begin breastfeeding.

Children: Safety and effectiveness in children have not been established.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or if you are planning to take any over-the-counter or prescription medications or dietary supplements with sucralfate. Doses of one or both drugs may need to be modified or a different drug may need to be prescribed. The following drugs and drug classes interact with sucralfate.

1. Antacids (aluminum-containing)

2. Penicillamine (eg, Cuprimine)

3. Cimetidine (eg, Tagamet)

4. Phenytoin (eg, Dilantin)

5. Ciprofloxacin (eg, Cipro)

6. Rantidine (eg, Zantac)

Side Effects

Every drug is capable of producing side effects. Many sucralfate users experience no, or minor, side effects. The frequency and severity of side effects depend on many factors including dose, duration of therapy and individual susceptibility. Possible side effects include:

Other: Red or black stools; coughing up or vomiting bright red or "coffee ground-like" material.

Digestive Tract: Constipation; diarrhea; nausea; stomach discomfort; indigestion.

Skin: Rash; itching; hives.

Other: Dry mouth; back pain; dizziness; sleepiness; facial swelling; difficulty breathing.

Guidelines for Use

* Take on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before meals and at bed time.

* Do not take antacids 30 minutes before or after taking sucralfate.

* If a dose is missed, take it as soon as possible. If several hours have passed or if it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose in order to "catch up" (unless advised to do so by your doctor). If more than one dose is missed, or it is necessary to establish a new dosage schedule, contact your doctor or pharmacist. Use exactly as prescribed.

* If red or black stools, coughing up or vomiting bright red or "coffee ground-like" material occur, contact your doctor.

* Duodenal ulcer is a chronic recurrent disease. While a single course of therapy of 4 to 8 weeks may completely heal the ulcer, ulcers may occur again and may be more severe.

* Suspension-Shake well before using.

* If you have any questions, consult your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.