Precautions and Warnings With Sucralfate
You may not be able to use sucralfate if you have kidney disease or are undergoing dialysis. Being aware of these and other sucralfate precautions and warnings can help ensure a safe treatment process, so make sure your healthcare provider has a list of all medications you are taking and any medical conditions you have.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking sucralfate (Carafate®) if you have:
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Undergoing dialysis
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Sucralfate Warnings and PrecautionsSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking sucralfate include the following:
- People who take sucralfate to treat an ulcer should be reminded that ulcers are typically a recurring, chronic problem. Short-term treatment with this medication helps to heal the ulcers, but continued treatment is necessary to prevent future ulcers from recurring. Other treatments (or perhaps long-term treatment with sucralfate, if other treatments are inappropriate) are necessary to prevent the ulcers from recurring.
- Sucralfate contains aluminum. With normal use in people with normal kidney function, the small amount of aluminum that is absorbed into the body is easily removed by the kidneys. However, people with chronic kidney disease or those undergoing dialysis do not adequately excrete aluminum from the body. In these people, sucralfate could lead to aluminum toxicity.
- Sucralfate has a tendency to bind to many other medications in the digestive tract, decreasing the absorption of such medications. Although most sucralfate drug interactions can be avoided by separating sucralfate and the other medication by a sufficient amount of time, it is often difficult (or impossible) to do so, as sucralfate is usually taken four times a day. In such situations, it is often best to switch medications (either sucralfate or the other medication) to avoid such problems (see Drug Interactions With Sucralfate for more information).
- Sucralfate is a pregnancy Category B medication, meaning that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy (although the full risks are currently unknown). Check with your healthcare provider before taking this medication during pregnancy (see Sucralfate and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown if sucralfate passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding, check with your healthcare provider before taking this medicine (see Sucralfate and Breastfeeding for more information).