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Systematic (IUPAC) name
Hexadeca-μ-hydroxytetracosahydroxy[μ8-[1,3,4,6-tetra-O-sulfo-β-Dfructofuranosyl-α-D-glucopyranoside tetrakis(hydrogen sulfato)8-)]]hexadecaaluminum[1]
Clinical data
Trade names Carafate
AHFS/ monograph
MedlinePlus a681049
  • B
Legal status
  • (Prescription only)
Routes of
oral, suspension, rectal suspension
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability 3-5% (local acting)
Metabolism GI; liver: unknown
Biological half-life unknown
Excretion feces, urine
CAS Number 54182-58-0 YesY
ATC code A02BX02
PubChem CID: 6398525
DrugBank DB00364 N
ChemSpider 4911161 N
Chemical data
Formula C12H54Al16O75S8
Molecular mass 2086.75 g/mol[1]
 N (what is this?)  (verify)

Sucralfate is a medication primarily taken to treat active duodenal ulcers.[2] Sucralfate is also used for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and stress ulcers.[3]

Sucralfate is a sucrose sulfate-aluminium complex that binds to the ulcer, creating a physical barrier that protects the gastrointestinal tract from stomach acid and prevents the degradation of mucus.[4][5] It also promotes bicarbonate production and acts like an acid buffer with cytoprotective properties.[6] Brand names include Carafate in U.S.A., Sucramal in Italy, Sufrate, Sucralcoat, Pepsigard, Sucral, Sucrafil, Hapifate in India, Sutra or Musin in parts of South-East Asia, Sulcrate in Canada, Ulsanic in South Africa and Israel, and Antepsin in Turkey.

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.[2] It is not FDA approved for gastric ulcers, as the main mechanism is not due to acid oversecretion but rather from diminished protection. The use for sucralfate in peptic ulcer disease has diminished recently, but it is still the preferred agent for stress ulcer prevention.[7][8][9][10]

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.[17][18][19] Avoid using this drug in people with chronic kidney failure, as it might cause aluminium accumulation and toxicity. There is a limited number of well-controlled studies investigating the safety and efficacy of sucralfate in children and pregnant women (Pregnancy Category B).[2][20][21]

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.[4] 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.[4] In addition, it prevents back diffusion of hydrogen ions, and adsorbs both pepsin and bile acids. Recently, it has been thought that sucralfate also stimulates the production of prostaglandin E2, epidermal growth factors (EGF), bFGF, and gastric mucus.[2][5]


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[21][22]


  1. ^ a b Merck Index, 12th Edition, 9049.
  2. ^ a b c d "DailyMed - CARAFATE - sucralfate suspension". Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  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 Brogden, R. N.; Heel, R. C.; Speight, T. M.; Avery, G. S. (1984-03-01). "Sucralfate. A review of its pharmacodynamic properties and therapeutic use in peptic ulcer disease". Drugs 27 (3): 194–209. ISSN 0012-6667. PMID 6368184. 
  5. ^ a b Korman, M. G.; Bolin, T. D.; Szabo, S.; Hunt, R. H.; Marks, I. N.; Glise, H. (1994-08-01). "Sucralfate: the Bangkok review". Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 9 (4): 412–415. ISSN 0815-9319. PMID 7948825. 
  6. ^ Lam, Shiu Kum; Ching, Chi Kong (1994). "Sucralfate in clinical practice". Journal of Gastroenerology and Hepatology 9 (4). 
  7. ^ Hunt, R. H. (1991-08-08). "Treatment of peptic ulcer disease with sucralfate: a review". The American Journal of Medicine 91 (2A): 102S–106S. ISSN 0002-9343. PMID 1882894. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ "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: AJHP: official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists 56 (4): 347–379. 1999-02-15. ISSN 1079-2082. PMID 10690219. 
  10. ^ Monnig, Andrea A.; Prittie, Jennifer E. (2011-10-01). "A review of stress-related mucosal disease". Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (San Antonio, Tex.: 2001) 21 (5): 484–495. doi:10.1111/j.1476-4431.2011.00680.x. ISSN 1476-4431. PMID 22316196. 
  11. ^ Jian-Min, Si; Liang-Jing, Wang; Shu-Jie, Chen; Lan, Zhao; Ning, Dai (2003). "Quality of life and cost-effectiveness of combined therapy for reflux esophagitis". Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE A 4 (5): 602–6. doi:10.1631/jzus.2003.0602. PMID 12958722. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ Chun, Mison; Kang, Seunghee; Kil, Hoon-Jong; Oh, Young-Taek; Sohn, Jeong-Hye; Ryu, Hee-Suk (2004-01-01). "Rectal bleeding and its management after irradiation for uterine cervical cancer". International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 58 (1): 98–105. ISSN 0360-3016. PMID 14697426. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Carafate Package Insert" (PDF). September 12, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  19. ^ "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: AJHP: official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists 56 (4): 347–379. 1999-02-15. ISSN 1079-2082. PMID 10690219. 
  20. ^ Phupong, Vorapong; Hanprasertpong, Tharangrut (2015-01-01). "Interventions for heartburn in pregnancy". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 9: CD011379. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD011379.pub2. ISSN 1469-493X. PMID 26384956. 
  21. ^ a b Steiner, K.; Bühring, K. U.; Faro, H. P.; Garbe, A.; Nowak, H. (1982-01-01). "Sucralfate: pharmacokinetics, metabolism and selective binding to experimental gastric and duodenal ulcers in animals". Arzneimittel-Forschung 32 (5): 512–518. ISSN 0004-4172. PMID 6896647. 
  22. ^ McEvoy, GK (2007). AHFS drug information McEvoy GK, ed. Sucralfate. AHFS. pp. 2983–5. 

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