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Sucralfate is a nonsystemic agent that is effective in protecting the gastroduodenal mucosa against injury. In addition, sucralfate is effective in the healing of acute duodenal and gastric ulceration, the therapy of esophagitis, and the prevention of ulcer recurrence. The mechanisms responsible for sucralfate's successful protective and therapeutic actions include the adsorption of pepsin and bile acids, the stimulation of bicarbonate and mucus secretion, and stimulation of endogenous synthesis of prostaglandins. When sucralfate is given to experimental animals or humans, it stimulates endogenous synthesis and release of prostaglandin E2 and inhibits thromboxane release. Pretreatment of animals with the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin results in a marked decrease in the protective effect of sucralfate against alcohol injury. Sucralfate also increases epidermal growth factor binding to ulcerated areas and stimulates macrophage activity. In addition, sucralfate stimulates endogenous sulfhydryl compounds. At the microscopic level sucralfate protects the vascular integrity of the mucosa and the mucosal proliferative zone. It also stimulates epithelial cell restitution and stimulates cell proliferation. The administration of sucralfate before acute injury results in decreased depth and extent of injury and in acceleration of healing. Because of sucralfate's ability to stimulate the protective and reparative mechanisms of the gastric and duodenal mucosa, it is an important nonsystemic agent for the therapy and prevention of peptic ulceration.


D Hollander, A Tarnawski. The protective and therapeutic mechanisms of sucralfate. Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology. Supplement. 1990;173:1-5

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PMID: 2190304

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