GERD Home > What Is Sucralfate Used For?

If you have duodenal ulcers, you may benefit from Sucralfate. Uses of this medication include treating duodenal ulcers and preventing them from coming back. This prescription medication works by forming a protective layer over the ulcer. It is approved for use in both adults and children.

An Overview of Uses for Sucralfate

Sucralfate (Carafate®) is a prescription medication approved to treat duodenal ulcers (ulcers of the upper part of the small intestine). Both the tablet and the suspension forms are approved for healing the ulcers (to be used for up to eight weeks), but only the tablet form is approved for maintenance treatment (to prevent the ulcers from coming back after healing has occurred).
Ulcers can occur in several places within the digestive tract. One common place for an ulcer is in the duodenum (the upper part of the intestine just after the stomach). This type of ulcer is called a duodenal ulcer.
Another common place to have an ulcer is in the stomach. This is called a stomach ulcer or gastric ulcer. "Peptic ulcer" is a term that includes both duodenal ulcers and stomach ulcers.
There are many ulcer causes, including medications, infections, and diseases. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or ibuprofen, are a common cause of ulcers. The bacteria Helicobacter pylori (or H. pylori) can also cause ulcers. Certain conditions that increase the production of stomach acid can also cause ulcers.
Common ulcer symptoms include heartburn symptoms or stomach pain (especially at night) and loss of appetite. Symptoms of bleeding ulcers include dizziness, vomiting blood, and blood in the stool (seen as dark-colored stools). Some people may not have any symptoms of an ulcer.

How Does Sucralfate Work?

Sucralfate mostly works at the site of the ulcer; very little of this medicine is absorbed into the rest of the body. It works by forming a protective paste-like substance by binding to the proteins exuded by the ulcer.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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