Save Money on Carafate Generic (Sucralfate) & Carafate Uses
Carafate, generic or brand-name, is a highly effective medication that can treat a wide range of GI issues—especially ulcers.
If you’ve ever had an ulcer, you know the intense pain that happens when acid wreaks havoc on the delicate internal membranes of your stomach. Carafate and generic sucralfate, when appropriately taken as a prescribed medication, can form a protective barrier over ulcers. This helps them heal faster…and shields the patient from shooting stomach pains.
Unfortunately, partially because Carafate is so effective, it’s not a cheap drug. Patients who opt for generic sucralfate can save up to 84% on their ulcer treatment, as can patients who buy Carafate through an online and international Canadian pharmacy.
Why Carafate? The Uses of Carafate and Its Generic Form, Sucralfate
Your doctor may prescribe Carafate (generic sucralfate or the brand-name version) if you have complaints of stomach pains or other ulcer symptoms.
But why Carafate, specifically? Are there other medications that can help? (And is the generic version of the drug really a helpful, safe option?)
Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Carafate (Sucralfate)?
Carafate (sucralfate) is often prescribed to treat and prevent stomach ulcers. It has a unique way of providing that protection: After a patient takes Carafate, the ingredients form a paste-like substance that sticks to and covers sensitive ulcer sites as a physical barrier against acid.
While the ulcer sites are thus protected from further damage, they can heal and even regenerate healthy tissue.
This novel approach to ulcer treatment was developed in the 1960s and approved in the early ‘80s. Since then, Carafate has been a go-to for physicians who see patients needing effective treatment and relief from ulcer pain.
How Much Does Brand Name Carafate Cost?
In the United States, it’s not uncommon to pay around $190.00 for a supply of 30 pills of Carafate. That works out to about $6.30 per day of treatment.
If you’re looking for steep savings, international and Canadian internet pharmacy websites may be worth checking out. Here, through NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can buy 60 pills of Carafate for about $60.00 – or just around $1.00 per pill (and up to 84% in savings).
A Generic Alternative to Carafate? The Merit of Sucralfate
The active ingredient in Carafate is a substance called “sucralfate.” Since the patents on brand Carafate have long expired, that active ingredient is now widely available as a generic drug.
While some may be dubious about the safety and efficacy of generic drugs compared to the brand-name alternatives, we have good news: Generic drugs are usually an excellent option to consider, especially if cost-efficacy is one of your goals.
Generic drugs, including sucralfate, must adhere to stringent regulatory standards to meet the same safety and quality benchmarks as their brand equivalents. Carafate and generic sucralfate should always have the same chemical composition, dosage forms, and therapeutic effects. Whether you’re buying Carafate or generic sucralfate, you should be able to expect the same protective barrier against stomach acid.
Since generic sucralfate has been available for a few years, it’s gained widespread recognition as a treatment option for people with ulcers, and it’s become somewhat synonymous with Carafate.
While many patients prefer the brand recognition and history of Carafate, generic sucralfate has one significant advantage over the branded product: Its price.
The Financial Benefits of Choosing Generic Carafate
Choosing generic Carafate, or sucralfate, can save American patients significant money.
Cost Comparison: Carafate vs. Sucralfate
In the United States, brand-name Carafate typically costs around $6.30 per pill. Depending on where you shop, in America, you might be able to find generic sucralfate in a supply of 28 pills for around $40.00, or $0.70 per pill.
That’s good, but not the most affordable price we’ve seen.
Here, through NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can buy a supply of 120 pills of generic sucralfate for around $55.00, which comes out to around $0.45 per pill—or a savings of up to 35%.
Whether you opt for the sucralfate available through your local brick-and-mortar pharmacy or save by buying your sucralfate through an online and international Canada pharmacy website, you’re enjoying considerable savings over brand-name Carafate.
Why is that?
Here’s Why Generic Drugs Are Cheaper
There are two main reasons generic drugs are cheaper than their brand-name equivalents.
The pharmaceutical industry’s pricing strategies play a big role in generic savings. Brand-name drugs, including Carafate, are expensive partially because the initial brand manufacturer had to pay to research and develop that drug.
R&D costs can be steep; to make a new drug, pharma companies need to invest in extensive research, testing, and marketing, along with the costs of setting up new equipment and navigating patents and approvals. The brand manufacturer will set high prices to recoup some of that investment.
Only after the brand name manufacturer’s patent expires do other companies have the right to produce generic equivalents, which don’t require as much setup and R&D—so, since the generic manufacturer doesn’t have to sink as much money into the drug, they can set the prices a lower for their generic offerings.
The competition in the generic market drives prices down further. Once the initial brand manufacturer’s patent expires, anyone (with the resources and ability) can make the drug. Often, more than one company does. This creates a competition that wasn’t previously present, when only one version of the drug was on the market.
With this competition comes lower prices, as multiple manufacturers must compete to get the public to buy their drug. (And the public is, generally, in favor of lower-priced alternatives.)
It bears repeating that these lower-priced generic drugs aren’t lower-quality than the brand options, nor do they exhibit reduced efficacy.
In some cases, these generic drugs may have different inactive (or “filler”) ingredients. Even so, generic products undergo thorough testing to ensure they’re therapeutically equivalent to the original medication.
Comprehensive Guide to Carafate Uses
As we’ve discussed, Carafate works by creating a protective shield for ulcers to help them heal and restore instead of getting harmed further by stomach acid.
Is that the only thing that Carafate (or generic sucralfate) can do?
Primary Uses of Carafate
Carafate and generic sucralfate are primarily used to treat ulcers. Usually, doctors prescribe Carafate when patients are experiencing active duodenal ulcers, which is only a tiny subset of situations in which people get ulcers.
Sometimes, doctors may prescribe Carafate to people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. When patients experience erosive esophagitis, or a condition where the esophageal lining gets eroded or worn away by excessive stomach acid, the same protective coating that Carafate builds for ulcers can shield a thin, damaged esophageal lining from more acid damage.
Off-Label Uses and Research
While duodenal ulcers and GERD are the most common reasons for Carafate or generic sucralfate prescriptions, today’s medical research is constantly uncovering more ways to use existing drugs to promote patient health.
As a result, depending on the unique symptoms and goals a patient may discuss with their doctor, patients may receive prescriptions for Carafate to treat:
- Stress ulcers. In patients with severe injuries or illnesses, Carafate has been used off-label to help prevent stress ulcers.
- Radiation-induced esophagitis. There is some research that suggests Carafate may help manage instances of esophagitis that occur after radiation therapy.
- Other GI disorders. Carafate’s protective shield may be useful not only with ulcers and GERD, but also with other conditions such as bile reflux and chronic gastritis.
For each of these and any other off-label uses of Carafate or generic sucralfate, more research is needed to determine definitive recommendations for the medication.
However, if your doctor is familiar with your symptoms and goals and recommends off-label use of Carafate in these situations, it may be worth considering it.
Common Side Effects of Carafate
Carafate and generic sucralfate are usually pretty well-tolerated–which just means that when patients take Carafate, they don’t generally experience severe or chronic side effects.
That doesn’t mean that nobody ever experiences side effects while on Carafate.
Here are a few of the more common side effects of Carafate:
- Constipation, which can be uncomfortable but is usually manageable with diet adjustments;
- Dry mouth, which can be alleviated by prioritizing consistent hydration;
- Nausea, which is typically mild;
- Dizziness and drowsiness, which may require some schedule or lifestyle adjustments.
In most cases, when patients experience these side effects after starting Carafate, they are relatively mild, or they go away after a patient’s body has had a chance to get used to the new drug.
If you realize that you’re having a severe experience with a side effect caused by Carafate or your side effects are not going away with time, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to help you determine an alternate course of action.
Managing Side Effects and When to Seek Help
Taking Carafate (or generic sucralfate) and wondering how to manage your mild side effects?
Talk to your doctor to get their assessment of your situation. They will be familiar with your health profile, the other medications you’re taking, and any other options available in your case.
If you’re interested in alleviating the discomfort of common Carafate side effects as you and your doctor determine your next best steps, it may be worth trying the following:
- Increase your fiber intake or prioritize hydration to combat constipation as much as possible.
- Suck on sugar-free candy, or chew sugar-free gum, to try and reduce the feeling of dry mouth.
- Manage your nausea by eating small, frequent meals and having mild, comforting foods on hand.
It is essential to listen to your body and be aware when you’ve crossed the line between frustrating symptoms and something your doctor should know about. If you experience any of the following more severe symptoms, call your doctor at once:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, such as itching or a rash
- Difficulty breathing
- Any unusual symptoms, such as vomiting or severe abdominal pain
- If you feel that anything is wrong or off
Alternatives to Carafate, Generic or Otherwise
Carafate isn’t the only medication that provides relief from ulcers and related conditions. If Carafate does not work for you or you’d like to know more about your options, the following medications may be worth considering.
HP-Pac (prevpac) contains three different active ingredients that each help target the symptoms of GI disorders, including nausea, bloating, decreased appetite, and excessive burping. These active ingredients—lansoprazole, clarithromycin, and amoxicillin–work together to stop acid secretion and heal any present ulcers.
You can buy a 7-day supply of HP-Pac, or a typical treatment course, through NorthWestPharmacy.com for about $150.00.
Aciphex (rabeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor that can help reduce the production of stomach acid. As a result, Aciphex is often prescribed to help treat conditions that result from excess stomach acid, including GERD and ulcers.
You can buy a 28-pill supply of brand name Aciphex through NorthWestPharmacy.com for about $61.00, or $2.20 per pill and the generic for much less.
You can buy a 30-pill supply of Protonix through NorthWestPharmacy.com for about $40.00, or about $1.30 per pill and the generic for even cheaper.
Buy Carafate, Generic Sucralfate, or Alternative GERD and Ulcer Treatments Here
If you’re looking for a convenient, reliable, and affordable way to source safe brand-name Carafate or generic Sucralfate, you’re in the right place. NorthWestPharmacy.com is a CIPA-approved online pharmacy website that’s proud to connect American patients to low prices and easy shipping.
Ready to place your order? Want to speak with one of our friendly customer service representatives or an on-staff pharmacist?
Either way, we’re here to help. The team at NorthWestPharmacy.com looks forward to helping you find the GERD or ulcer medication appropriate for your situation.