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Old 05-25-2004, 06:50 AM   #1
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Any info on Carafate?

Anyone have any experience taking carafate. I have had stomach trouble for a couple of years and having been prescribed Protonix. Yesterday I had a endoscopy done and was told I have mild gastritis. The Dr prescribed carafate and took me off the protonix.
I had never heard of it but am hopeful it will help. Any advice would be great
Thanks

 
Old 05-25-2004, 10:54 AM   #2
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Re: Any info on Carafate?

I took it for awhile when I had a duodenal ulcer and gastritis. It's supposed to put a protective layer around the ulcer therefore allowing the ulcer to heal. Some doctors also prescribe Carafate for ulcers in the mouth and esophagus that develop during cancer therapy, for digestive tract irritation caused by drugs, for long-term treatment of stomach ulcers, and to relieve pain following tonsil removal. I think it helped some but I still had diluted pain all the time.

 
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Old 05-30-2004, 08:42 AM   #3
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Re: Any info on Carafate?

I take carafate for bile reflux gastritis and excess bile salts in my stomach. The bile is supposed to stay in your duodenum (first part of small intestine) and if it refluxes back into the stomach it causes inflammation (gastritis). Too much of this bile can cause diahrrea as it did for me. The carafate puts the protective coating over inflammation and helps it heal and also soaks up extra bile. It really helps me a lot. It can cause constipation so you have to play with the dose a little bit. For me I would get horrible stomachaches at about 5 am that would leave me weak and empty. So, I take 1 carafate before I go to bed to soak up the bile. I read somewhere that your body does a lot of digestion and bile production while you're sleeping. Don't know if that's true or not. Anyway, 4 a day was too much for me so I usually only take 1 down from 2 a day. That is all I need at the moment. My stomachaches are gone and I actually feel okay when I get up in the morning. It is a really helpful medication for me. It does take about 2 months to start really feeling the benefits of it though. I was told I will probably have to take it the rest of my life and I even took it while I was pregnant. It does not get into the bloodstream so it is a safe drug. Good luck!

 
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Old 06-01-2004, 02:53 AM   #4
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Smile Re: Any info on Carafate?

Luvmyboys, I've been diagnosed with Bile Reflux Gastritis too. What were your symptoms? I've just started on the Carafate and I'm hoping to feel better soon!

 
Old 06-01-2004, 11:22 AM   #5
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Re: Any info on Carafate?

pinksparkle,

My symptoms were diahrrea every morning much worse during and after my period, stomach (upper) bloating feeling. It didn't look bloated, it felt like I had to be popped with a pin to let all the air out. Hard time burping. Lots of stomach and intestinal noises. Nausea off and on every day. I would try to eat inbetween nausea spells because it would go away if I had something in my stomach. My scopes would always show bile in my stomach and inflammation from it. I saw the pictures. I was tired and lightheaded a lot and sometimes achy, but I feel that was due to poor diet. Now that I am on the carafate things have improved all around. Do you have any symptoms that I didn't mention? I may have forgotten some. I haven't heard from many people on these boards with bile reflux so I was beginning to wonder if it was a made up diagnosis!

 
Old 06-01-2004, 01:38 PM   #6
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Smile Re: Any info on Carafate?

Luvmyboys, no, your diagnosis of bile reflux gastritis is definitely not made up! I was diagnosed with it about 3 and a half years ago and I'm still trying to get it under control. I have used Carafate (we call it Sulcrafate here in the UK) before but I don't think I gave it enough time to work as I was only on it 3 weeks. Did you have any initial side effects with the Carafate? I've been on them about 3 days now and I've experienced some bloating, nausea and a bad stomach ache in the mornings. I hope these effects wear off soon.
My symptoms are pretty much the same as yours especially the nausea that goes away after eating and the loud stomach noises (very embarrassing!).
The only symptom that I have which you don't mention is that I also have a lot of air (acid, maybe?) in my stomach that I can burp up constantly and it never goes away. Did you have this? I'm wondering if I have an acid problem as well but I don't know if this is possible to have both acid and bile reflux.

 
Old 06-01-2004, 02:06 PM   #7
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Re: Any info on Carafate?

Pinksparkle,

I do have a lot of air, but I have trouble burping it up. Sometimes I can feel it going all the way through my digestive tract and then you know what happens. I have to pass it the other way. That's embarrassing! I think when I can't burp is when I get the severe bloating full feeling. Sometimes I take phazyme (gas pill) and that helps.

I did have those initial side effects and for a long time would not take it, but finally I stuck it out because I already felt sick so why not keep taking it. It didn't really make me feel any worse and sometimes I think I created the side effects or blamed a stomachache on a medicine when it probably had nothing to do with the medicine. I have had bile reflux for about 15 years. Since the first diagnosis I would take carafate off and on. I would stop taking it when I felt better then start again. This time I have been taking it since April of 2003. I remember a few stomachaches through the night during the following 3 - 4 months and then they just stopped. I now take only 1 gram a day before I go to bed because somewhere I thought I read that your body does a lot of its digestion while you're sleeping and uses a lot of bile at that time. My stomachaches were always in the morning around 5 am. Talk about depressing and the makings for a long day. By the time I was done in the bathroom after a few hours and several trips and lots of cramps I felt worn out and sad and empty. It was hard to get going for the day. Many days I would just cry. The carafate has stopped all of that. My bowel movements are no longer loose, but actually kind of too hard, but a nice change.

I've read it takes 6 to 8 weeks to really notice the benefits of carafate. I totally agree with that. I will be taking it as a maintenance drug probably for the rest of my life. There really are no bad side effects and it is safe during pregnancy.

I think it is possible to have excess acid or acid reflux with bile reflux. I was on prevacid for that with the carafate, but experienced extreme bloat with that. I have weaned myself off the prevacid and those problems went away. My appetite had improved. I think I had no acid in my stomach and my food would just sit there and not empty out and I would never get hungry. I don't know, just my theory. I had the upper endoscopy and was diagnosed with GERD, but I never had heartburn. The only time I had that was when I was pregnant. I don't really believe that I have acid reflux and if I do, maybe the carafate takes care of that too. Were you diagnosed through an upper endoscopy? The reason I ask is because if you have an acid problem they should have been able to see it during your procedure.

Sorry for the long post. My kids kept interrupting me so I hope it makes sense and there aren't too many typos.

 
Old 06-03-2004, 03:58 AM   #8
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Re: Any info on Carafate?

Hi Luvmyboys,

Wow, 15 years is along time to cope with this awful condition! I'm glad to hear that the Carafate is working for you now though.

At the moment I'm just starting my 5th day of the Carafate. I still had a stomach ache this morning but it wasn't as bad as the last few days. I feel like the acid in my stomach had increased but I'm going to keep taking the tablets and hope that this goes away soon.

Yes, I was diagnosed by an Upper Endoscopy. They found that my stomach was inflamed and bile refluxing into it. The also said that there were burns on my stomach. I'm guessing that might be from the bile?

Over the past few months I've been looking into natural ways of treating bile reflux. The only thing so far I have found which has helped a bit is fish oil. Apparently it used to be used as an anti-inflammatory and so I suppose that this is why it helps the gastritis.

I think that if the acid is still bad next week, I might try the calcium and magnesium supplement that has been mentioned on this board recently. I'd rather try that first than proper antacids.

 
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