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Clinical data
Trade namesCarafate
  • B
Routes of
By mouth, rectal
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status
  • In general: ℞ (Prescription only)
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability3-5% (local acting)
MetabolismGI; liver: unknown
Elimination half-lifeunknown
ExcretionFeces, urine
CAS Number
PubChem CID
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
ECHA InfoCard100.053.636 Edit this at Wikidata
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass2086.75 g/mol[1] g·mol−1
 ☒N☑Y (what is this?)  (verify)

Sucralfate, sold under various brand names, is a medication used to treat stomach ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), radiation proctitis, and stomach inflammation and to prevent stress ulcers.[2][3][4] Its usefulness in people infected by H. pylori is limited.[2] It is used by mouth and rectally.[2][4]

Common side effects include constipation.[2] Serious side effects may include bezoar formation and encephalopathy.[5] Use appears to be safe in pregnancy and breastfeeding.[5] How it works is unclear but is believed to involve binding to the ulcer and protecting it from further damage.[2][5]

Sucralfate was approved for medical use in the United States in 1981.[2] It is available as a generic medication.[5] In the United States the wholesale cost is about US$0.22 per dose.[6] In 2016 it was the 236th most prescribed medication in the United States with more than 2 million prescriptions.[7]

Medical uses[edit]

Sucralfate is used for the treatment of active duodenal ulcers not related to the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as the mechanism behind these ulcers is due to acid oversecretion.[8] It is not FDA approved for gastric ulcers, but is widely used because of evidence of efficacy.[9] The use for sucralfate in peptic ulcer disease has diminished recently, but it is still the preferred agent for stress ulcer prevention.[10][11][12][13]

Sucralfate has also been used for the following conditions:

Side effects[edit]

The most common side effect seen is constipation (2-3%). Less commonly reported side effects (<0.5%) include flatulence, headache, hypophosphatemia, xerostomia (dry mouth), and bezoar formation.[23][24][25] Use of this drug is not recommended for people with chronic kidney failure, as it might cause aluminium accumulation and toxicity. A few well-controlled studies have been carried out investigating the safety and efficacy of sucralfate in children and pregnant women (Pregnancy Category B).[8][26][27]

Mechanism of action[edit]

Sucralfate is a locally acting substance that in an acidic environment (pH < 4) reacts with hydrochloric acid in the stomach to form a cross-linking, viscous, paste-like material capable of acting as an acid buffer for as long as 6 to 8 hours after a single dose.[28] It also attaches to proteins on the surface of ulcers, such as albumin and fibrinogen, to form stable insoluble complexes. These complexes serve as protective barriers at the ulcer surface, preventing further damage from acid, pepsin, and bile.[28] In addition, sucralfate prevents back diffusion of hydrogen ions, and adsorbs both pepsin and bile acids.

It has been thought that sucralfate also stimulates the production of prostaglandin E2, epidermal growth factors (EGF), bFGF, and gastric mucus.[8][29]


Onset: 1-2 hr (initial onset for peptic ulcer disease (PUD))

Absorption: <5% Orally

Duration: Up to 6 hours due to high affinity for defective mucosa (PUD)

Bioavailability: 5% as sucralfate is considered non-systemic, sucrose octasulfate: 5%, aluminum:0.005%

Metabolism: Not metabolized, excreted unchanged in urine

Excretion: Primarily in urine as unchanged drug[27][30]


Brand names include Carafate in U.S.A., Sucramal in Italy, Sucrafil, Sufrate, Sucralpro, Sucralcoat, Pepsigard, Sucral, Hapifate, Sucralpro in India, Sutra or Musin in parts of South-East Asia, Sulcrate in Canada, Discral (sucralfato) in México, Ulsanic in South Africa and Israel, Andapsin in Sweden and Antepsin in Turkey.


  1. ^ a b Merck Index, 12th Edition, 9049.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Sucralfate Monograph for Professionals". American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
  3. ^ Maton PN (2003). "Profile and assessment of GERD pharmacotherapy". Cleve Clin J Med. 70 Suppl 5: S51–70. doi:10.3949/ccjm.70.Suppl_5.S51. PMID 14705381.
  4. ^ a b c Mendenhall, William M.; McKibben, Brian T.; Hoppe, Bradford S.; Nichols, Romaine C.; Henderson, Randal H.; Mendenhall, Nancy P. (2014-10-01). "Management of radiation proctitis". American Journal of Clinical Oncology. 37 (5): 517–523. doi:10.1097/COC.0b013e318271b1aa. ISSN 1537-453X. PMID 23241500.
  5. ^ a b c d British national formulary : BNF 76 (76 ed.). Pharmaceutical Press. 2018. p. 73. ISBN 9780857113382.
  6. ^ "NADAC as of 2019-02-27". Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  7. ^ "The Top 300 of 2019". Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  8. ^ a b c "DailyMed - CARAFATE - sucralfate suspension". Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  9. ^ a b Hixson, LJ; Kelley, CL; Jones, WN; Tuohy, CD (April 1992). "Current trends in the pharmacotherapy for peptic ulcer disease". Archives of Internal Medicine. 152 (4): 726–32. doi:10.1001/archinte.152.4.726. PMID 1558429.
  10. ^ Hunt, R. H. (1991-08-08). "Treatment of peptic ulcer disease with sucralfate: a review". The American Journal of Medicine. 91 (2A): 102S–106S. doi:10.1016/0002-9343(91)90459-b. ISSN 0002-9343. PMID 1882894.
  11. ^ Fashner, Julia; Gitu, Alfred C. (2015-02-15). "Diagnosis and Treatment of Peptic Ulcer Disease and H. pylori Infection". American Family Physician. 91 (4): 236–242. ISSN 1532-0650. PMID 25955624.
  12. ^ "ASHP Therapeutic Guidelines on Stress Ulcer Prophylaxis. ASHP Commission on Therapeutics and approved by the ASHP Board of Directors on November 14, 1998". American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. 56 (4): 347–379. 1999-02-15. doi:10.1093/ajhp/56.4.347. ISSN 1079-2082. PMID 10690219.
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  16. ^ Richter, J. E. (2005-11-01). "Review article: the management of heartburn in pregnancy". Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 22 (9): 749–757. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2036.2005.02654.x. ISSN 0269-2813. PMID 16225482.
  17. ^ Safdar, Nasia; Crnich, Christopher J.; Maki, Dennis G. (2005-06-01). "The pathogenesis of ventilator-associated pneumonia: its relevance to developing effective strategies for prevention". Respiratory Care. 50 (6): 725–739, discussion 739–741. ISSN 0020-1324. PMID 15913465.
  18. ^ Temir, Z. Günyüz; Karkiner, Aytaç; Karaca, Irfan; Ortaç, Ragip; Ozdamar, Aykut (2005-01-01). "The effectiveness of sucralfate against stricture formation in experimental corrosive esophageal burns". Surgery Today. 35 (8): 617–622. doi:10.1007/s00595-004-3005-0. ISSN 0941-1291. PMID 16034539.
  19. ^ Theodore M. Bayless (14 May 2014). Advanced Therapy of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Ulcerative Colitis (Volume 1), 3e. PMPH-USA. p. 331. ISBN 978-1-60795-216-9.
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  30. ^ McEvoy, GK (2007). AHFS drug information McEvoy GK, ed. Sucralfate. AHFS. pp. 2983–5.

External links[edit]