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    Information about Lactulose

    Lactulose uses

    Lactulose is used in constipation and liver disease. It may also be used to treat and prevent complications of liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy).

    How lactulose works

    Lactulose works by drawing water into the intestine through osmosis, which makes the stool soft and easier to pass.

    Common side effects of lactulose

    Nausea, Vomiting, Stomach pain, Flatulence
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Betina Chandolia
    MDS (Oral Pathology & Microbiology), BDS
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Lalit Kanodia
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    09 Sep 2019 | 12:24 PM (IST)
    Want to know more?
    Read Our Editorial Policy

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    Expert advice for Lactulose

    • Some healthy tips to prevent constipation from happening:
      • Eat more fiber in your diet. Recommended daily intake is 20-35g
      • Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day
      • Exercise regularly at least 3 times per week
      • Do not hold in stool as that can worsen bowel issues
    • Lactulose is used for the treatment of constipation.
    • It should preferably be taken at bedtime as it requires 6 to 8 hours to show impact.
    • It is usually taken once a day as needed for up to 2 weeks. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer period of time than your doctor tells you to.
    • Take it atleast 2 hours after taking other medicines, as it may interfere with the absorption of other medicines.
    • Inform your doctor if you have a history of stomach disorders such as appendicitis or a blockage in your bowel.

    Frequently asked questions for Lactulose


    Q. How long does it take for Lactulose to work?

    It takes about 2-3 days to see the benefits of the treatment. Talk to your doctor if you feel constipated even after 3 days of taking Lactulose.

    Q. What is Lactulose used for?

    Lactulose is used to treat constipation which is presented as infrequent bowel movements, hard and dry stools. It is also used in patients with hepatic encephalopathy which is a serious liver problem causing confusion, tremors and decreased level of consciousness.

    Q. Is Lactulose a laxative?

    Yes, Lactulose is a laxative which softens the stools by pulling in water from the body to the large intestine. It is also used to reduce the amount of ammonia in the blood of patients with liver disease.

    Q. What are the side effects of taking Lactulose?

    Lactulose very commonly causes diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Diarrhea and abdominal pain occur due to high dose and dose should be reduced in such cases. Flatulence may occur during the first few days of treatment and may disappear after sometime. This medicine may also cause electrolyte imbalance. However, this is an uncommon side effect.

    Q. Is it okay to take Lactulose every day?

    You should take Lactulose for as long as advised by your doctor. You may also take it for as long as constipation lasts, which may be upto a week. For hepatic encephalopathy, the treatment may be longer, may be several months.

    Q. Who should not be given Lactulose?

    Lactulose should not be given to patients who are allergic to it or are intolerant to lactose (cannot process lactose). It should also be avoided in patients having galactosemia, a rare health problem where body cannot process galactose.

    Q. Can I take other laxatives along with Lactulose?

    Usually one laxative is sufficient to relieve constipation. In case you need it, your doctor may advise you to take one more laxative along with Lactulose. The risk of side effects is more with 2 laxatives.

    Q. What if I take more than the recommended dose of Lactulose?

    Taking more than the recommended dose of Lactulose may cause abdominal pain, electrolyte imbalance and diarrhea, which may last for a couple of days.

    Content on this page was last updated on 09 September, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)