Drugs and medications are responsible for executing, through their properties and mechanisms, a recovery from different imbalances or disorders that may occur within our body.

In this sense, there is a type of medication known as protectors , mainly at the gastrointestinal level against many causes. One of these drugs is sucralfate.

In the next article, we will talk about this protective drug for the care of the small intestine. We will mention its applications, side effects and contraindications.

What is sucralfate?

Sucralfate is, as previously mentioned, a protective medication. It is made up of polyaluminum hydroxide and sucrose octasulfate .

Its active ingredient focuses on the production of prostaglandins in the area of ​​the gastrointestinal mucosa, in addition to having the ability to adhere to inflamed surfaces.

Sucralfate is for oral consumption and its indication in children is prescribed only in severe cases of hemorrhagic gastrointestinal ulcers. Similarly, due to its mechanism of action in the case of ulcers, the drug acts locally and is not metabolized , so 90% of it is eliminated in the feces. (1)

Note: The recommended dose is 4 grams distributed in four doses of 1 gram each. Two during the day and two at night.

What is sucralfate used for?

Sucralfate is oriented for the protection of the gastric area . We mention below its main applications and a brief summary of its mechanism of action in each one:

1. Gastric and duodenal ulcer

A gastric ulcer is characterized by damage caused by stomach acid to the lining of our digestive tract . It can be produced in the stomach or duodenal mucosa (first part of the small intestine).

In this case, pain and burning usually occur at night , so sucralfate treatment is recommended in nocturnal doses. (two)

To highlight: This drug is also recommended to prevent the reappearance of ulcers, since it allows the control of the pH and forms proteins with gastric mucus.

2. Gastritis

Gastritis is a disorder that leads to inflammation of the gastrointestinal lining that can cause weakening and therefore lead to mucosal lesions  .

Thanks to its ability to produce proteins and control pH , sucralfate reduces symptoms and therefore their evolution. Therefore, sucralfate is prescribed to counteract aggression , working as an antacid . (3)

You should know: The treatment consists of 1 gr four times a day , before each meal and before going to sleep.

3. Gastrointestinal bleeding

Gastrointestinal bleeding is a serious symptom of digestive disorders , presenting blood in vomit and stool.

Note: The level of bleeding can vary and sucralfate treatment allows the creation of a barrier between gastric acid and the gastric mucosa, which will prevent further damage and reduce symptoms. (4)

4. Canker sores and genitals

Canker sores are open sores or ulcers, which can occur in areas such as the mouth and genitals . Due to the mechanism with which sucralfate acts on ulcers, in some cases it is recommended in the treatment of these conditions.

Sucralfate Side Effects

As with all medications, there are certain side effects of sucralfate that can develop during its use. They will be mentioned below for identification:

  • Constipation and dry mouth.
  • Dizziness, headache and vertigo.
  • Pruritus (skin irritation), allergic reactions.

Important: In case of presenting any of the side effects mentioned, it is important to seek medical assistance for indications .

Sucralfate Contraindications

There are certain contraindications with this drug that must be taken into account, so they will be mentioned below for your recognition and precaution:

  • Sucralfate is contraindicated if there is hypersensitivity or allergy to any of the components.
  • Do not administer in case of obstructive gastrointestinal disease.
  • Not recommended in patients with renal insufficiency.
  • Do not administer to neonates.
  • If given as an intravenous injection instead of an oral suspension, aluminum poisoning may occur.
  • It should not be consumed if there is suspicion of pregnancy or if you are breastfeeding.

You should know: Before starting treatment with sucralfate, it is important to tell your doctor about your medical history.

Key Conclusions

  • Sucralfate is a medication aimed at treating gastrointestinal disorders such as duodenal ulcer, gastritis and mouth ulcers.
  • Its oral dose is divided twice a day or four times , depending on the dose used and the gastropathy to be treated. 
  • Seriously ill patients usually need higher doses, but they must be under the direction and supervision of a medical professional.
  • Sucralfate reduces the symptoms of disorders, thus preventing reflux and the activity of acids against gastric mucus.

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