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Lactitol is used for the treatment of constipation and prevention of hepatic encephalopathy (decline in brain function as a result of severe liver disease).

How it works

Lactitol belongs to the class of medication called as osmotic laxatives. It works by softening the stool thereby aiding patients to pass stool easily. It also results in acidification of the gut lumen which increases stool nitrogen excretion and decreases intestinal transit time, with a reduction in the time for production, absorption and other potential toxins affecting brain.

Common side effects

Abdominal distension, Abdominal pain, Abnormal gastrointestinal sound, Diarrhoea, Flatulence, Itching, Nausea, Gastrointestinal discomfort


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Expert advice

  • Always take lactitol along with meals to avoid nausea.
  • You will be regularly monitored for blood electrolyte levels if you are an elderly or a patient with poor health conditions on long term usage.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding. 
  • Do not take if allergic to lacitol or any of its ingredients.
  • Do not take if suffering from ileostomy or colostomy (surgical opening in gut for passing stools).
  • Do not take if having intestinal obstruction, with doubtful underlying organic (solid mass obstructing gut lumen) lesion of the gastrointestinal tract. 
  • Do not take if suffering from unexplained abdominal pain or bleeding and galactosaemia (excess of galactose in blood).

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)