Stomach ulcers, internal / intestinal injuries occur when you consume more alcohol regularly, lead a stressful life and also indulge in habits like smoking. People who eat spicy or fat-rich foods may also develop ulcers. These wounds may show up in the top portion of your small intestines. Medical research shows that intake of a sizable amount of meds – especially, those belonging to the painkilling genre or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also result in ulcers. Ulcers may show up not only in your small intestines; they can also occur in your mouth, throat, food pipe or colon. In this light, having a detailed knowledge of drugs like sucralfate can be of great help.

Formation of ulcers can be due to various reasons. Modern lifestyles are often attributed as one major cause. If you are living a stressed out life coupled with habits like drinking, smoking, etc., odds of ulcer formation are high. In older people, use of excessive amounts of antibiotics or painkilling drugs may also cause ulcers. The signs of ulcer are often easy to identify; these include an excruciating pain in the upper abdomen, inability to consume hot or spicy foods, etc. Upon sensing any of these signs, you are advised to consult a qualified medical practitioner.

Use of sucralfate for the treatment of various forms of ulcers

Of the many types of meds available to treat stomach ulcers, sucralfate is a widely prescribed drug. Foremost of all, you need to know that this drug must never be taken as an over the counter (OTC) med. Intake of this drug needs to be as per the instructions of a qualified caregiver or a clinical professional. This drug is a hydroxyl derivative of an aluminum-based salt, sourced from sucrose. A compound called octasulfate forms a key ingredient in this drug. The chief function of this med is to form a gel type of patch and cover the mucus of your small intestine. The active ingredients use up the naturally present items in your stomach to form this viscous / sticky patch. An acidic ambience inside your stomach further helps the formation of this gel. This sticky substance offer needful protection to the linings of the small intestines from harsher acids, spicy foods or other toxic items such as tobacco smoke / alcohol.

The protective layer formed by sucralfate stays on for six hours; healing process starts in the interim. Your treating doctor will instruct you to take this drug at the same timeslot every day. The most common dosage plan is thrice or four times within a 24-hour timeline. It is a good practice to take sucralfate at least 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to your meal. Never share this med with a friend or a family member who is having the same symptoms. This is because – dosage plans may vary from one individual to another. Typical treatment plan is influenced by severity of ulcers, your age as well as based on side effects / reactions observed soon after starting the doses.

Precautions needed prior to the intake of sucralfate

People who suffer from ulcers rend to take antacids. But, co-administration of antacids with sucralfate is not advised without the consent of your treating physician. If you abdominal condition warrants the intake of an antacid – provide an interval of at least 60 minutes. You also need to know that many antacids may contain aluminum in them. It is equally important to know that sucralfate also has aluminum in it. So, if you are taking these two forms of drugs within a 24-hour period, chances of a build-up of this metal are high.

Accumulation of aluminum is dangerous in people who are aged 55 years or above. This is because – at that age, the filtering capability of your kidneys may have dropped to some extent. Hence, such elderly people may witness a toxic level of aluminum in their system. So, if you are already taking drugs for treat a renal condition, your doctor needs to be aware of it. As a general precaution, you are advised to check the efficiency levels of your kidneys. A standard battery of tests is often prescribed to gauge your renal wellbeing. As an overall precautionary measure, if you are living either with a chronic renal dysfunction or undergoing dialysis, it is better to stay away from this drug. Also, among older people, this drug needs to be administered in moderation. Either the strength of doses is reduced or frequency of daily doses is maintained as once per day. In some remote cases, your doctor may suggest both these precautionary measures.

In general, you need to stay cautious of clinical conditions such as difficulties faced while foods, fullness in stomach, abdominal discomforts like nausea or vomiting, heartburn. Upon sensing any of these discomforts, talk to your physician as quickly as you possibly can. Also, stay aware of allergies sucralfate can cause. However, not all users of this drug may witness adverse allergic reactions. But, if you notice allergies such as dizziness, inflammation of oral or facial parts, breathing difficulties, etc. your medical team must be made aware of these problems.

In some one-off instances, conditions like discoloration of skin, rashes, swelling or itchiness have also been observed. You need to note that these discomforts / precautions do not form a comprehensive list. It is likely that you may develop some adverse reactions or undesired side effects and allergic reactions which are not mentioned here. As soon as you see any unknown problems showing up, contact your treating doctor on an emergency basis. US residents may call 911. Canadian residents can reach out to Health Canada or a poison control center.

In sum, sucralfate is an ulcer medication; this needs to be consumed under the care and supervision of a qualified practitioner. It becomes essential to follow the instructions of your treating physician all through the medication plan. If you need any additional inputs on the use of sucralfate consult with your medical team or a pharmacist.

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