- Constipation Myths and Facts Slideshow
- Hemorrhoids Slideshow Pictures
- Constipation: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid
- What is lactulose-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for lactulose-oral?
- Is lactulose-oral available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for lactulose-oral?
- What are the side effects of lactulose-oral?
- What is the dosage for lactulose-oral?
- Is lactulose-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about lactulose-oral?
What is lactulose-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Lactulose is a man-made sugar that contains two naturally occurring sugars, galactose and fructose. It is not digested in the intestine like other sugars so that it reaches the colon where bacteria digest it and thereby alter the composition of the stool.
Additionally, lactulose is used to treat hepatic encephalopathy, a loss of brain function and change in mentation that occurs when the liver is unable to remove toxins from the blood. Bacteria in the colon digest lactulose into chemicals that bind ammonia that is believed to be the toxin that causes hepatic encephalopathy. The binding of ammonia prevents ammonia from moving from the colon into the blood and also draws ammonia from the blood and into the colon. The bound ammonia then is removed from the body in the stool.
The FDA approved lactulose in March, 1976.
What brand names are available for lactulose-oral?
Constulose, Enulose, Generlac, Cholac, Constilac
Is lactulose-oral available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for lactulose-oral?
What are the side effects of lactulose-oral?
Diarrhea (loose stool) may occur if the dose of lactulose is too high. Problems associated with diarrhea are fluid and potassium loss in the diarrheal stool leading to dehydration and low blood levels of potassium (hypokalemia). An additional side effect is the elevation of blood levels of sodium (hypernatremia) as a result of the loss of fluid.
Lactulose contains sugars (galactose and lactose) and should be used cautiously in people with diabetes; however, since lactulose is not digested, and little of the sugar is absorbed, the effects in people with diabetes usually are minimal.
Quick Guide19 Constipation Myths and Facts
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.