What is this medication for?
Lactulose belongs to the group of medicines know as laxatives. It is used for the relief of constipation, including chronic constipation. Lactulose works by softening the stool and increasing the water content of stool. This makes it easier for stool to be passed. Lactulose usually works over a period of about 24 to 48 hours.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
Lactulose is available in a liquid form and as crystals that are diluted with liquid. The usual adult dose of lactulose is 10 g to 20 g daily. The dose may be increased to 40 g daily if needed. It may take 24 to 48 hours for lactulose to work.
Lactulose crystals may be mixed with fruit juice, milk, or water, or the crystals may be taken dry from a spoon followed by a full glass of water or juice. An 8 oz. glass of water, or more, should be taken with each dose of lactulose.
Store this medication at room temperature, away from direct heat and moisture. Do not store lactulose in the bathroom, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Lactulose should not be used by anyone who:
- is on a galactose- or lactose-restricted diet
- is allergic to lactulose or any other ingredient in this medication