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Carafate (Sucralfate)

Description

If you are interested in the use of Carafate, you need to know that this treatment is used to heal ulcers. The generic name of this medication is Sucralfate, and it forms a certain coating over ulcers, thus, protecting this area from further injuries. These days, many patients start taking it to prevent and treat ulcers in their stomach and if they are caused by the intake of aspirin and other anti-inflammatory meds, such as ibuprofen.

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How to Use Carafate Properly

Itís necessary to take it orally on an empty stomach 1 hour before any meal, 2-4 times per day. Talk to doctors to find out more about the right dosage because it must be based on your health condition and possible response to this treatment. If you want to get the most benefit from its intake, you need to use Carafate on a regular basis, and remember that it may take up to several weeks to cure ulcers completely, so you canít stop your treatment abruptly.

Possible Contradictions and Precautions

If you want to be on a safe side when taking Carafate, or Sucralfate, itís advisable to remember the following:

1. Precautions. Before you start this kind of treatment, you need to inform your doctor if you have any allergic reaction to its active components. Thatís because this medication may contain specific inactive ingredients that result in allergies. Keep in mind that your healthcare professionals need to know everything about your medical history, especially if you have swallowing, kidney, stomach, intestine health problems, tube feeding and others. Itís obvious that your kidney functions decline as you age, and Carafate contains aluminum that is removed by this important body organ. Thatís why older patients are always at risk of having high aluminum levels while taking this medication. If youíre pregnant or breast-feeding, talk to your doctor before starting this treatment to find out more about possible risks.

2. Drug interactions. Itís not allowed to stop, change the dosage or start taking Carafate without talking to medical specialists first. You must inform them about any other meds you are taking, including prescription drugs, herbal supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter meds and so on. If youíre currently taking specific antibiotics or antacids that include aluminum, thyroid medications and some others, such as ketoconazole, ranitidine and cimetidine, you should be careful with the use of Carafate. Write down all the chemical drugs youíre taking and bring this list with you to show it to your doctor or local pharmacist.

Possible Side Effects

When taking Carafate or its generic analog, Sucralfate, you may experience certain adverse effects, and the good news is that most of them are rare and mild. For example, some patient report dry mouth, nausea, upset stomach and constipation. Keep in mind that your doctor should be informed about any of these unwanted symptoms, especially if they get worse or persist. Almost all patients who decide to take this medication to treat ulcers donít experience any side effects at all.

Once you start noticing any persistent or unusual feeling of fullness in your stomach, vomiting, pain and other similar symptoms, especially after eating, or difficulty swallowing, stop your treatment and talk to doctors. Finally, serious allergic reactions to Carafate are not likely to occur, but they definitely require instant medical attention. Their basic symptoms include itching, swelling, dizziness, difficulty breathing, rash and some others.

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