Stomach ulceration in humans is a prominent medical condition and there has long been pressure to developeffective and convenient ways to address this problem. Until relatively recently, we relied on simply neutralizingstomach acid by pouring alkaline solutions (ie alka seltzer, Tums, Rolaids etc.) into the stomach. In fact, ulcerationis a complicated process and there are many ways to address it.
Sucralfate was developed as an adjunctive treatment for stomach ulcers in humans. Sucralfate is a sucrosealuminum hydroxide compound that forms a gel-like webbing over ulcerated or eroded tissues serving as a sort ofa bandage. It is effective in the upper GI tract: stomach, duodenum (upper small intestine), and possiblyesophagus.
Sucralfate not only “bandages” the ulcer but accumulates healing tissue factors in its bandage; it not only protectsthe ulcer but actively assists in the healing process.
Sucralfate may be used in any condition associated with stomach ulceration. Common examples include: toxiningestion, kidney failure, liver failure, certain forms of cancer, and megaesophagus. It is also often given inconjunction with medications that are associated stomach ulceration such as as piroxicam (feldene®) or aspirin.
One dose of Sucralfate lasts approximately 6 hours after it is taken orally.
Because sucralfate is a locally acting medication and is not absorbed into the body it has very limited side effectspotential. Approximately 2% of humans taking sucralfate report constipation as a side effect.
The following medications do not work well in patients taking concurrent sucralfate:
• Cimetidine (tagamet HB)• Tetracycline• Phenytoin (a heart and seizure medication)• Fluoroquinolone antibiotics (such as enrofloxacin, orbifloxacin, marbofloxacin etc.)• Digoxin (a heart medication)
This problem is solved by staggering sucralfate administration with the administration of these other medicationsby at least 2 hours.
Sucralfate requires stomach acid in order to form its protective gel. If possible, it should be given 30 minutes priorto the administration of an antacid.
Despite the presence of sucrose in the molecular formula of this medication, there is no problem administeringsucralfate to diabetic patients.
Sucralfate must be given four times daily in order to provide a continuous protective layer on the ulcer. This is aninconvenient schedule but if doses are skipped, the ulcer goes unprotected for that period of time.
Ideally, this medication is given on an empty stomach (at least one hour before feeding or two hours after).
Administration of sucralfate within 12-24 hours of endoscopy can make the detection of stomach and
upper intestinal ulcers very difficult. If your pet is to have endoscopy and is currently taking sucralfate, find out how
far in advance of the procedure the specialist prefers that the medication be discontinued.
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