Lactulose is a drug to treat constipation or difficult bowel movements. This drug works by flowing fluid into the intestine so that it makes the stool softer and easier to pass.

Lactulose can also be used to treat and prevent hepatic encephalopathy , which is a disorder of brain function and structure due to complications from liver disease . This medicine should only be taken according to a doctor's prescription.

Lactulose trademarks:  Constipen, Constuloz, Dulcolactol, Duphalac, Graphalac, Lacons, Lactofid, Lactulax, Lactulose, Opilax, Pralax

What Is Lactulose

class Prescription drug
Category Laxatives  (laxatives)
Benefit Overcoming  constipation  or constipation, as well as treating and preventing hepatic encephalopathy
Consumed by Adults and children
Lactulose for pregnant and lactating women Category B:  Animal studies have not demonstrated a risk to the fetus, but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women. Whether lactulose is absorbed into breast milk is not known. For nursing mothers, do not use this drug without consulting a doctor.
Drug form Syrup

Precautions Before Consuming Lactulose

Follow the doctor's recommendations and suggestions while undergoing treatment with lactulose. Before taking this drug, you need to pay attention to the following things:

  • Do not take lactulose if you are allergic to this drug. Always tell your doctor about any allergies you have.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have had diabetes,  Crohn's disease , a disorder in the digestion of sugar (galactosemia),  ulcerative colitis , or are on a low-galactose diet.
  • Do not take lactulose with other laxatives.
  • Tell your doctor that you are taking lactulose before having surgery.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor about all other medicines you are taking, especially antibiotics and antacids .
  • Immediately consult a doctor if an allergic drug reaction or overdose occurs after consuming lactulose.

Dosage and Rules for Use Lactulose

The dose of lactulose can be different for each patient. The following is the general dosage for using lactulose according to the condition and age of the patient:

Condition: Constipation

  • Adult: Initial dose of 15–45 ml per day, divided into 1–2 doses. The maintenance dose is 15–30 ml per day, divided into 1–2 consumption schedules.
  • Children <1 year: Initial and maintenance dose of 5 ml per day, divided into 1–2 doses.
  • Children 1–6 years: Initial and maintenance dose of 5–10 ml per day, divided into 1–2 doses.
  • Children aged 7–14 years: Initial dose of 15 ml per day, divided into 1–2 consumption schedules. Maintenance dose of 10–15 ml per day, divided into 1–2 consumption schedules.

Condition: Hepatic encephalopathy

  • Adult: 30–45 ml, 3–4 times daily. Adjust the dose until it is easy to have a bowel movement, at least 2-3 times a day.

How to Consume Lactulose Properly

Follow the doctor 's recommendations and read the information listed on the drug packaging label before consuming lactulose. Do not reduce or increase your dose without consulting your doctor first.

Lactulose can be taken before or after meals. This medication can also be mixed with juice, milk, or snacks. Usually, the effects of the drug will begin to be felt after 1-2 days of taking the drug.

To take this drug, use the measuring device available on the drug packaging or the one given by the doctor. Do not use other measuring devices or household spoons, as the dose may not be as prescribed.

If you forget to take lactulose, it is advisable to do it immediately if the break with the next consumption schedule is not too close. If it's close, ignore it and don't double the dose.

Store lactulose at room temperature and in a closed container so as not to be exposed to direct sunlight, and keep it out of reach of children.

Interactions of Lactulose with Other Drugs

The following are drug interaction effects that can occur if lactulose is taken together with other medicines:

  • Decreased therapeutic effect of lactulose when used with glutamine
  • Enhanced effect of cardiac glycoside drugs
  • Decreasing the effectiveness of lactulose when used with ulcer drugs containing aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide , as well as antibiotics, such as neomycin
  • Increased risk of reduced potassium levels in the blood when taken with thiazides, corticosteroids , or amphotericin B
  • Increased risk of severe side effects when used with other laxatives, such as glycerol

Side Effects and Dangers of Lactulose

Side effects that can appear after consuming lactulose are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Nauseous
  • Vomit
  • stomach cramps
  • Dehydration
  • hypokalemia

See a doctor if you experience the above side effects. Immediately see a doctor if you experience a drug allergic reaction which can be characterized by symptoms of swelling of the lips and eyelids, an itchy rash, or difficulty breathing after using lactulose.

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