Sucralfate provides significant pain relief and recovery for horses with ulcers. Due to its effectiveness at treating ulcers many owners are asking ‘How long can I treat my horse on sucralfate?’
Thankfully, the absorption of sucralfate is minimal. It’s actions are local rather than systemic and it does not affect gastric-acid output or enzyme activity.
How does sucralfate work?
Sucralfate is a physical gastroprotectant, meaning it works to directly coat the stomach lining and is largely unabsorbed by the horse.
Sucralfate is a complex of sucrose and aluminum hydroxide that forms a viscous paste in acidic environments. This negatively charged paste binds to positively charged proteins in the ulcer, forming a direct protective barrier for up to 6 hours.
Side effects of long term use of sucralfate
Because very little drug is absorbed systemically, no systemic toxicities have been reported. The only reported side effect is constipation.
Most vets agree that sucralfate can be used indefinitely if the benefits outweigh the risks.
For those treating with sucralfate, it’s important to remember that the successful outcome of the horse’s treatment depends on the commitment & ability to administer it exactly as prescribed. You can find out how to properly treat with sucralfate here.