What is Carafate?
Carafate is an oral medication that is used to treat and prevent ulcers, specifically in the upper gastrointestinal tract. It is made up of sucrose, sulfate, disaccharide sugar, and aluminum. This allows the drug to be minimally absorbed into the human body. It mainly functions in the lining of the stomach and in the duodenum. Carafate adheres to the ulcer, coating and protecting it from being harmed by enzymes, acids, and bile salts. Thus, the ulcers are able to heal and the body regenerates more quickly.
What are the indications for using Carafate?
Carafate is prescribed to patients with active duodenal ulcers and patients with other forms of peptic ulcer disease. Not only does it treat the ulcers but also stops them from reoccurring after the ulcer has been healed. It can also be used to deal with ulcers that are the result of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Some medical practitioners prescribe Carafate to people suffering from the gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It can also be given to patients in hospitals in order to prevent ulcers that can be caused by surgery, serious infections, extensive burns, or other physical stresses on the body.
What is the dosage of Carafate?
The recommended dosage for treating ulcers is 1g to be administered from 2 to 4 times a day for a period of four to eight weeks. In order to get the best results, Carafate needs to be taken on an empty stomach, preferably at least an hour before a meal and two hours after. The dosage for preventing ulcers from reoccurring is 1g twice a day. If one of the dosages is missed, it should be taken as soon as possible, but not if it is almost time for the new dosage.
What are the contraindications for using Carafate?
The drug should not be taken by a patient who is allergic to Sucralfate. Medical practitioners also warn against Carafate being taken by patients who are experiencing kidney problems, intestine problems, have difficulty swallowing, and require tube feeding. Also, if the woman is pregnant, she needs consult with the doctor before starting the course of treatment using this medication. The effects of Carafate on breast milk are still unknown.
What are the adverse effects of Carafate?
Carafate has been known to cause nausea, gas, constipation, and an upset stomach. The rare yet serious side effects include severe vomiting or stomach pain after food intake, and a prolonged feeling of stomach fullness. The allergic reaction to Carafate can take the form of a rash, dizziness, itching, swelling, and trouble breathing. If any of the symptoms present themselves, see a doctor as soon as possible.
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