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Lactulose: Patient drug information

Lactulose: Patient drug information
2024© UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All Rights Reserved.

For additional information see "Lactulose: Drug information" and "Lactulose: Pediatric drug information"

You must carefully read the "Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer" below in order to understand and correctly use this information.

Brand Names: US
  • Constulose;
  • Enulose;
  • Generlac;
  • Kristalose
What is this drug used for?
  • It is used to treat constipation.
  • It is used to treat or prevent certain brain or mental problems caused by liver disease. It may be used by mouth or rectally.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?
  • If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you are on a low-galactose or lactose-free diet.
  • If you are taking other laxatives.
  • This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?
  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have your blood work checked if you are on this drug for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
  • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with the doctor. Some of these products have sugar.
  • If you will be having a certain type of exam (proctoscopy or colonoscopy), talk with your doctor.
  • Dehydration and electrolyte problems can happen in people who have diarrhea. Talk with the doctor about what to do to prevent dehydration and electrolyte problems.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
  • WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, unusual thirst or hunger, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
  • Diarrhea.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
  • All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Burping.
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Gas.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
  • You may report side effects to your national health agency.
How is this drug best taken?
  • Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
  • All oral products:
  • Do not take antacids at the same time as this drug. Talk with your doctor.
  • Liquid:
  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug. If there is none, ask the pharmacist for a device to measure this drug.
  • Mix liquid with water, milk, or fruit juice to make it taste better.
  • Some products may be used as an enema. If you are using this drug as an enema, it will be given rectally by your doctor.
  • Powder:
  • Mix powder with 1/2 cup (120 mL) of water.
  • After mixing, take your dose right away. Do not store for future use.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
  • All products:
  • Store at room temperature in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
  • Liquid:
  • Do not freeze.
  • Protect from heat and light.
  • This drug may become a little darker over time if stored at room temperature. This does not affect how well the drug works as long as it is stored at room temperature as you have been told.
  • If stored in heat or under light, this drug may get very dark or cloudy. If this happens, do not use it. If this drug gets darker and you are not sure what to do, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
General drug facts
  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Last Reviewed Date2020-10-01
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
  • This generalized information is a limited summary of diagnosis, treatment, and/or medication information. It is not meant to be comprehensive and should be used as a tool to help the user understand and/or assess potential diagnostic and treatment options. It does NOT include all information about conditions, treatments, medications, side effects, or risks that may apply to a specific patient. It is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for the medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a health care provider based on the health care provider's examination and assessment of a patient's specific and unique circumstances. Patients must speak with a health care provider for complete information about their health, medical questions, and treatment options, including any risks or benefits regarding use of medications. This information does not endorse any treatments or medications as safe, effective, or approved for treating a specific patient. UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates disclaim any warranty or liability relating to this information or the use thereof. The use of this information is governed by the Terms of Use, available at https://www.wolterskluwer.com/en/know/clinical-effectiveness-terms.
  • © 2024 UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.
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