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Understanding Heartburn/GERD Medications (cont.)

GERD and Heartburn Coating Drugs

Sucralfate (Carafate) may be used initially to protect an irritated or inflamed esophagus.

  • How coating drugs work: This drug binds to proteins from secretions in the stomach and esophagus, which forms a substance that protects the lining of the stomach and esophagus.
  • Who should not use these medications: Individuals who have experienced an allergic reaction to this drug should not take it.
  • Use: Sucralfate must be taken four times a day on an empty stomach, and at least one hour before meals.
  • Drug or food interactions: Sucralfate may decrease effects of ketoconazole (Nizoral), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin), tetracycline (Sumycin), phenytoin (Dilantin), warfarin (Coumadin), quinidine (Quinaglute, Cardioquin, Quinidex), and theophylline (SLO-BID, Theo-24, Theo-Dur, Uniphyl).
  • Side effects: Sucralfate should be used with caution in people with kidney failure because it contains aluminum, which may accumulate in the body. The drug often causes constipation.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

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