Antepsin (Sucralfate)

How does it work?

Antepsin tablets and suspension contain the active ingredient sucralfate, which is a complex of aluminium hydroxide and sulphated sucrose. It is used to aid healing of ulcers in the stomach and intestine (peptic ulcers).

Sucralfate is not absorbed from the gut. It works by forming a protective barrier over the ulcer. This protects the ulcer from stomach acid, giving it time to it heal.

Antepsin can also be used to treat chronic inflammation of the stomach (gastritis).

Treatment with Antepsin must be continued for at least four to six weeks, but this can be extended for up to 12 weeks if the peptic ulcers are not healing.

What is it used for?

  • Treatment of stomach and duodenal (peptic) ulcers.
  • Chronic inflamed stomach lining (chronic gastritis).
  • Preventing bleeding from stomach and intestinal ulcers caused by stress in seriously ill people (suspension only).


  • You should not take any other medicines, food or drink, in particular antacids, milk, fruit or fruit juices, within half an hour before or after a dose of Antepsin, as they may influence its effect.
  • Antepsin suspension contains food additives, E217 and E219 which act as preservatives and may cause allergic reactions.

Use with caution in

  • Decreased kidney function.
  • Delayed emptying of the stomach contents into the intestine.
  • People being fed through a tube (enteral feeds).

Not to be used in

  • Severely decreased kidney function.
  • Pregnancy.
  • This medicine has not been studied in children and is therefore not recommended for children.

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.

If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.

  • The safety of this medicine during pregnancy has not been established. The manufacturer therefore advises that it should be avoided during pregnancy. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
  • It is not known if this medicine passes into breast milk. Seek medical advice from your doctor before taking this medicine if you are breastfeeding.

Side effects

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Indigestion (dyspepsia).
  • Stomach discomfort.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Dizziness.
  • Back pain.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Headache.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Rash.
  • Excess gas in the stomach and intestines (flatulence).
  • Balance problems involving the inner ear (vertigo).
  • Formation of an insoluble mass within the gut (bezoar formation).

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.

For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How can this medicine affect other medicines?

It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.

You should not take any other medicines half an hour before or after taking this medicine, as they may influence its effect.

Sucralfate may bind in the gut to other medicines that are taken at the same time. This can reduce the absorption of the other medicines, in particular the following:

  • digoxin
  • H2 antagonists, eg ranitidine
  • ketoconazole
  • levothyroxine
  • phenytoin
  • quinolone type antibiotics, eg ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin
  • quinidine
  • tetracycline
  • theophylline
  • warfarin.

Antacids should not be taken for half an hour before or after this medicine.

The use of other medicines containing aluminium, for example some antacids, is not recommended with this medicine, as this may enhance the potential for aluminium absorption and toxicity.

Other medicines containing the same active ingredient

There are currently no other medicines available in the UK that contain sucralfate as the active ingredient.