Consult Online With India's Top Doctors
Common Specialities
Common Issues
Common Treatments


Prescription vs.OTC: Prescription by Doctor not required
Last Updated: July 19, 2021

Lactulose is a laxative. It is used to treat constipation. This medicine is a synthetic sugar. After its administration, it gets broken down in the colon into mild acids that pull water from the body and release it into the colon.

Using its method of drawing water into the bowel, and making stools softer relieves the individuals concern of constipation. It takes at least 48 hours to produce its action. This medicine is also used as an adjunct in the prevention and treatment of portal-systemic encephalopathy (PSE).

Lactulose is also used to prevent or treat certain brain conditions that are caused by liver failure, which can lead to confusion, problems, tremors, behaviour changes, feeling irritable, loss of coordination, sleep problems and loss of consciousness.

You should not use Lactulose if you are on a special diet low in galactose. To make sure you can safely take this medicine, tell your doctor if you have other medical conditions, especially diabetes or if you need to have a colonoscopy. Possible side effects of this drug are bloating, gas, stomach pain, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting.

Lactulose comes as liquid to take by mouth. It usually is taken once a day for treatment of constipation and three or four times a day for liver disease. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine should be taken at each dose.

Information given here is based on the salt content of the medicine. Uses and effects of the medicine may vary from person to person. It is advisable to consult a Hepatologist before using this medicine.

Primary uses of this medicine are:

Common side effects of this medicine are:

  • Is It safe with alcohol?

    It is found to be safe to consume alcohol along with this medicine.
  • Are there any pregnancy warnings?

    This medicine is probably safe to use during pregnancy. Animal studies have shown low or no adverse effect on the foetus, however, there are limited human studies. Please consult your doctor.
  • Are there any breast-feeding warnings?

    It is probably safe to use during breastfeeding. Limited data suggests that it does not cause any significant risk to the fetus. Please consult your doctor.
  • Is it safe to drive while on this medicine?

    There is no interaction between driving and consuming this drug. So dose alteration is not needed.
  • Does this affect kidney function?

    There is no interaction between renal impairment and consuming this drug. So dose alteration is not needed.
  • Does this affect liver function?

    There is no data available. Please consult doctor before consuming the drug.
  • Are there any missed dose instructions?

    If you miss a dose of Lactulose, skip it and continue with your normal schedule. Do not double the dose.

Below is the list of medicines, which contains Lactulose as ingredient

View More

This medicine is taken either orally or rectally to treat problems like constipation and hepatic encephalopathy. When used as a laxative, it helps in softening stools by breaking down in the colon and extracting water into the colon. It decreases ammonia in the blood by drawing it into the colon and removing it from the body.

Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you"re at risk of a drug interaction.

  • Interaction with Medicine

    This medication interacts with Ketoconazole, Azithromycin, Aluminium Hydroxide, Oral neomycin, laxatives, and antacids.
  • Interaction with Disease

    Use with caution in patients with diabetes mellitus. Monitor periodically for electrolyte imbalance when this medicine is used >6 months or in patients predisposed to electrolyte abnormalities (eg, elderly). Patients receiving this medicine and an oral anti-infective agent should be monitored for possible inadequate response to it.
  • Interaction with Food

    Contraindicated in patients on galactose-restricted diet. It may be mixed with fruit juice, milk, water, or citrus-flavored carbonated beverages.

Ques: What is the use of Lactulose?

Ans: This medication is a synthetic sugar that is used to treat constipation. This water helps in softening stools and reduces the amount of ammonia in the blood of patients with liver disease.

Ques: At what frequency do I need to use Lactulose?

Ans: Consume once a day for treatment of constipation and three or four times a day for liver disease.

Ques: What are the instructions for the storage and disposal of Lactulose?

Ans: Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed. Keep it out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture.

Ques: How long does it take for Lactulose to work?

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

Ques: What is Lactulose used for?

Ans: This medication is used to treat constipation which is presented as infrequent bowel movements, hard and dry stools.

Ques: Is Lactulose a laxative?

Ans: Yes, Lactulose is a laxative which softens the stools by pulling in water from the body to the large intestine.

Ques: What are the side effects of taking Lactulose?

Ans: Side effects include diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Diarrhea and abdominal pain occur due to a high dose.

Ques: Is it okay to take Lactulose every day?

Ans: You should take this medication for as long as advised by your doctor. You may also take it for as long as constipation lasts, which may be up to a week.

Ques: Who should not be given Lactulose?

Ans: This medication should not be given to patients who are allergic to it or are intolerant to lactose (cannot process lactose).

Ques: What if I take more than the recommended dose of Lactulose?

Ans: Taking more than the recommended dose of this medication may cause abdominal pain, electrolyte imbalance and diarrhea, which may last for a couple of days.
Disclaimer: The information produced here is best of our knowledge and experience and we have tried our best to make it as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we would like to request that it should not be treated as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Lybrate is a medium to provide our audience with the common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. Even if there is no mention of a warning for any drug or combination, it never means that we are claiming that the drug or combination is safe for consumption without any proper consultation with an expert.

Lybrate does not take responsibility for any aspect of medicines or treatments. If you have any doubts about your medication, we strongly recommend you to see a doctor immediately.

Popular Questions & Answers

Popular Health Tips

Content Details
Written By
PhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child Care
Reviewed By
General Physician
Table of Content
About Lactulose
What are the uses of Lactulose
What are the contraindications of Lactulose ?
What are the side effects of Lactulose ?
Key highlights of Lactulose
What are the dosage instructions?
Medicines containing Lactulose
How does this medication work?
What are the interactions of Lactulose ?
FAQs about Lactulose