- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: lactase enzyme
Brand Names: Lactaid Original, Colief, Lactaid Fast Act Chewables, Lactaid Fast Act Caplets
Drug Class: Nutritionals, Other
What is lactase enzyme, and what is it used for?
Lactase is a digestive enzyme that breaks up lactose, the carbohydrate in milk and milk products. Carbohydrates have to be broken into simple forms of sugars for cells to be able to use them for energy. Lactase enzyme breaks lactose into glucose and galactose, simple sugars that can be absorbed by the small intestines. Lactase enzyme is available as oral tablets and solutions over the counter (OTC).
If lactose is not broken down in the intestines and large amounts of lactose pass into the colon, the bacteria in the colon break lactose down and this can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea. Some people of less lactase due to genetic conditions or certain gastrointestinal conditions and are unable to digest lactose. Lactose intolerant adults and children can take lactase enzyme as a supplement to help digest milk products.
- Do not administer lactase to children younger than 4 years of age without checking with a pediatrician.
- Some lactase enzyme products may contain aspartame, which should be avoided by people with phenylketonuria, a condition that causes inability to breakdown phenylalanine, an amino acid that aspartame contains.
- Rarely, some people may have allergic reaction to lactase.
What are the side effects of lactase enzyme?
Lactase enzyme has no documented side effects.
Some people may have an allergic reaction.
Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms or serious side effects while using this drug:
- Serious heart symptoms include fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness;
- Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady;
- Severe nervous system reaction with very stiff muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, and feeling like you might pass out; or
- Serious eye symptoms include blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights.
This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What are the dosages of lactase enzyme?
Expressed in Food Chemical Codex (FCC) units
1 mg is equivalent to 14 FCC units
- 3,000 units/tablet (Lactaid Original)
- 9,000 units/tablet (Lactaid Fast Act Caplets)
- 9,000 units/tablet (Lactaid Fast Act Chewables)
- Colief Infant Drops
- Take 3,000-9,000 units orally with meals or dairy
- If still eating or drinking dairy products after 30-45 minutes, may need to take another dose as per recommendations of healthcare professional
- Children 4 years and older: Take 3,000-9,000 units orally with meals or dairy
- Express a few tablespoons of breast milk into a sterilized container
- Add 4 drops of lactase infant drops
- Give mixture to infant on a spoon or oral syringe before initiating breastfeeding
- Breastfeed as normal
- Prepare infant's formula as per manufacturer's instructions (or use ready-to-use formula)
- Add 4 drops of lactase infant drops to warm (not hot) formula
- Wait 30 minutes, shaking the formula occasionally, then feed your infant as normal, making sure that the formula is at the correct temperature
- Discard any unused formula
Making formula in advance with lactase infant drops
- Prepare infant's formula as per manufacturer's instructions
- Add 2 drops of lactase infant drops to the warm (not hot) formula
- Store in your refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours before use and use within 12 hours
- Feed infant as normal making sure that the formula is at the correct temperature
- Discard any unused formula
- Children below 4 years of age to be administered only under supervision of healthcare professional
- Lactase enzyme is destroyed by high heat; it works best in warm milk/formula (i.e., body temperature approximately 98 degrees F).
- Add lactase infant drops after milk/formula is prepared and at body temperature; do not boil milk with the lactase drops already mixed in with the milk.
- There are no reports of toxic effects from lactase enzyme and overdose is unlikely to cause any adverse effects.
- If you have an allergic reaction, discontinue lactase and notify Poison Control.
What drugs interact with lactase enzyme?
Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.
- Lactase enzyme has no known severe, serious, moderate or mild interactions with other drugs.
The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.
It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have any questions about the medication.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
What else should I know about lactase enzyme?
- Take lactase enzyme exactly as per label instructions.
- Lactase enzyme is generally recognized as safe for consumption.
- Dietary supplements often contain many ingredients. Check labels for the components in the lactase enzyme product you choose.
- Lactase enzyme is marketed as a dietary supplement and does not require pre-marketing approvals from the FDA. Products may differ in formulations and strengths, and labels may not always match contents; exercise caution in choosing your product.
Lactase is a digestive enzyme that breaks up lactose, the carbohydrate in milk and milk products. Lactose intolerant adults and children can take lactase enzyme as a supplement to help digest milk products. Do not administer lactase to children younger than 4 years of age without checking with a pediatrician. Lactase enzyme has no documented side effects. Some people may have an allergic reaction. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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Grocery store aisles are stocked with multiple different types of milk — from low-fat and skim milk to plant-based alternatives like almond and soy milk. While most types of milk have some calcium in them, their particular nutrition profiles can be very different.
Lactose intolerance is a common problem where a person's digestive system cannot digest lactose. Signs and symptoms include: Diarrhea Gas Abdominal pain Abdominal bloating Abdominal distention (swelling) Nausea There are several tests to diagnose lactose intolerance. Treatment is generally made with dietary changes, supplements, and adaptation to small amounts of milk.
The most common food allergies are to eggs, nuts, milk, peanuts, fish, shellfish, strawberries and tomatoes. Symptoms and signs of a food allergy reaction include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, itching, hives, eczema, asthma, lightheadedness, and anaphylaxis. Allergy skin tests, RAST, and ELISA tests may be used to diagnose a food allergy. Though dietary avoidance may be sufficient treatment for mild allergies, the use of an Epipen may be necessary for severe food allergies.
Is Almond Milk Healthier Than Regular Milk?
Almond milk is ideal for people who prefer a vegan diet and want fewer calories, but regular milk is more effective at strengthening bones during youth.
What Are the Symptoms of a Milk Allergy in Adults?
Milk allergy reactions may cause immediate or delayed symptoms. Learn to spot the signs and what foods to avoid if you have a dairy allergy.
Is Milk Bad for UTI?
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Can You Suddenly Become Lactose Intolerant?
People may become lactose intolerant at any point of time in their lives.
Are Food Allergies Passed Down Genetically?
A food allergy is a condition that causes your immune system to fight against a particular part of food — which is called an allergen. Food allergies can be hereditary — that is, parents can pass the likelihood of developing a food allergy to their children through genes that code for inherited traits.
How Much Lactose Can I Tolerate?
People with lactose intolerance can typically tolerate up to 12 grams of lactose. This is equal to one large cup or about 8 ounces of milk. Some can even have up to 12.5 ounces of milk without experiencing any symptoms.
How Do I Know if I Am Lactose Intolerant or Allergic to Milk?
Lactose intolerance is caused by a deficiency of an enzyme (lactase) that helps digest the sugar (lactose) in milk. Milk allergy, on the other hand, is an adverse immune reaction to proteins found in milk. The symptoms of the two conditions are different.
How Do You Get Tested for Food Allergies?
If you develop symptoms of a food allergy, your doctor will have you undergo a skin test or blood test to determine which foods you are allergic to.
Is Food Intolerance the Same as Food Allergy?
Food intolerance is a condition in which an individual has difficulty in digesting certain foods. Consumption of these foods manifests as physical symptoms such as bloating, loose motion, gases, and bellyache. Food intolerance is quite common. Most people are aware of the foods that disagree with them.
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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.