What is Carafate?
Carafate is a prescription medication used to treat and prevent ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract. Carafate works by forming a barrier over the ulcer, which protects it from further damage and allows it to heal.
Carafate has been shown to be effective in healing ulcers and preventing them from recurring. Carafate is also sometimes used to treat other gastrointestinal conditions such as heartburn and esophagitis.
Carafate is generally well-tolerated, but side effects can include constipation, diarrhea, headache, and nausea.
Carafate is available in tablet and suspension form. The usual adult dose is 1-2 grams taken four times daily, 30 minutes before meals and at bedtime.
Carafate may interact with other medications, so be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the medications you are taking, even over-the-counter drugs.
Mechanism of Action
Carafate works by forming a barrier over the ulcer, which protects it from further damage and allows it to heal. Carafate is thought to work by binding to mucus in the gastrointestinal tract, which creates the protective barrier.
Carafate is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and has a bioavailability of 50%. Carafate is not metabolized and is excreted unchanged in the urine. The half-life of carafate is 3-6 hours.
How to Take Carafate
Carafate is available in tablet and suspension form. The usual adult dose is 1-2 grams taken four times daily, 30 minutes before meals and at bedtime. Carafate should be taken with plenty of fluids. Shake the suspension well before each use.
Long-term effects of Carafate
The long-term effects of Carafate are not known.
Alternatives to Carafate
There are other medications that can be used to treat ulcers, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs)
Are proton pump inhibitors more effective than histamine-2 receptor antagonists?
There is no definitive answer to this question as different people may respond to different medications differently. Some studies have shown that PPIs are more effective than H2RAs, while other studies have shown that there is no difference in efficacy between the two types of medications. Ultimately, it is up to your doctor to determine which medication is best for you.
What are the side effects of proton pump inhibitors?
The most common side effects of PPIs include headache, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain. Less common side effects can include dizziness, rash, and constipation.
What are the side effects of histamine-2 receptor antagonists?
The most common side effects of H2RAs include headache, diarrhea, and nausea. Less common side effects can include dizziness, rash, and constipation.