Digestive System Home > Carafate

Carafate is a prescription drug used for the treatment of duodenal ulcers. It works by forming a protective substance at the site of the ulcer. This medication comes in the form of a tablet or an oral liquid, and is taken two to four times daily. The most common side effect of this medicine is constipation.

What Is Carafate?

Carafate® (sucralfate) is a prescription medication approved to treat duodenal ulcers (ulcers in the first part of the small intestine).
 
(Click Carafate Uses for more information on what Carafate is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes Carafate?

Brand-name Carafate is made by Axcan Scandipharm, Inc. Generic versions are made by various manufacturers.
 

How Does It Work?

Carafate mostly works at the site of the ulcer; very little of this medicine is absorbed into the rest of the body. It works by forming a protective paste-like substance by binding to the proteins exuded by the ulcer.
 

When and How to Take Carafate

Some general considerations for when and how to take this medication include the following:
 
  • Carafate comes in the form of a tablet and oral suspension (liquid). It is usually taken four times a day (to heal ulcers) or twice daily (to prevent the ulcers from recurring).
     
  • You should take the medicine on an empty stomach.
     
  • Make sure to shake the suspension well before each dose.
     
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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