Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System
Alginic acid is a polysaccharide distributed widely in the cell walls of brown algae which is hydrophilic and forms a viscous gum when hydrated. Its salts with metals such as sodium and calcium are known as alginates. It is a significant component of the biofilms produced by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a major pathogen found in the lungs of some people who have cystic fibrosis. The biofilm and P. aeruginosa have a high resistance to antibiotics and are susceptible to inhibition by macrophages. Its colour ranges from white to yellowish-brown. It is sold in filamentous, granular or powdered forms.
Under the effect of gastric acid, a precipitate is formed from tripotassium dicitrato bismuthate, which adheres primarily to the ulcerated area and inhibits the activity of pepsin. Tripotassium dicitrato bismuthate contributes to the healing of a high percentage of gastric and duodenal ulcers.
Sucralfate forms an ulcer adherent complex with the proteinaceous exudate of the ulcer site. This property enables sucralfate to form a protective barrier over the ulcer lesion giving sustained protection against the penetration and action of gastric acid, pepsin and bile.