Carafate Warnings and Precautions
If you have kidney disease or are undergoing dialysis, you may not be able to take Carafate, as it could lead to aluminum toxicity. Other warnings and precautions for Carafate apply to people with certain allergies and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, before starting treatment, make sure your healthcare provider is aware of any other medications you are taking.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Beginning Treatment?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Carafate® (sucralfate) if you have:
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Undergoing dialysis
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Precautions and Warnings With CarafateSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Carafate include the following:
- People who take Carafate to treat an ulcer should be reminded that ulcers are typically a recurring, chronic problem. Short-term treatment with this medication helps to heal the ulcers, but continued treatment is necessary to prevent future ulcers from recurring. Other treatments (or perhaps long-term treatment with Carafate, if other treatments are inappropriate) are necessary to prevent the ulcers from recurring.
- Carafate contains aluminum. With normal use in people with normal kidney function, the small amount of aluminum that is absorbed into the body is easily removed by the kidneys. However, people with chronic kidney disease or those undergoing dialysis do not adequately excrete aluminum from the body. In these people, Carafate could lead to aluminum toxicity.
- Carafate has a tendency to bind to many other medications in the digestive tract, decreasing the absorption of such medications. Although most Carafate drug interactions can be avoided by separating Carafate and the other medication by a sufficient amount of time, it is often difficult (or impossible) to do so, as Carafate is usually taken four times a day. In such situations, it is often best to switch medications (either Carafate or the other medication) to avoid such problems (see Carafate Drug Interactions for more information).
- Carafate is a pregnancy Category B medication, meaning that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy (although the full risks are currently unknown). Check with your healthcare provider before taking this medication during pregnancy (see Sucralfate and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown if Carafate passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding, check with your healthcare provider before taking this medicine (see Sucralfate and Breastfeeding for more information).