Why is this medication prescribed?
Sucralfate is used to treat ulcers. It adheres to damaged ulcer tissue and protects against acid and enzymes so healing can occur.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Sucralfate comes as a tablet and liquid to take by mouth. It usually is taken four times a day, 1 hour before meals and at bedtime. Take sucralfate on an empty stomach, 2 hours after or 1 hour before meals. 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 liquid sucralfate well before measuring doses.
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
Sucralfate also is used to protect the stomach lining when taking aspirin and for mouth sores that occur with cancer chemotherapy. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking sucralfate,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to sucralfate or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially antacids (Mylanta, Maalox), anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin), cinoxacin (Cinobac), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), digoxin (Lanoxin), enoxacin (Penetrex), ketoconazole (Nizoral), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), nalidixic acid (NegGram), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), phenytoin (Dilantin), quinidine, sparfloxacin (Zagam), tetracycline (Sumycin), and vitamins. If you are taking any of these medicines, do not take them within 2 hours of taking sucralfate.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart or kidney disease or diabetes.
- 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 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?
Although side effects from sucralfate are not common, they can occur. To avoid constipation, abdominal pain, and gas, eat a high-fiber diet (extra fruits, vegetables, salads, and bran) and drink plenty of fluids.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- passing red or black stools
- coughing up or vomiting material that is bright red or looks like coffee grounds
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
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). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will 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.