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This medication is a laxative used to treat constipation. It may help to increase the number of bowel movements per day and the number of days you have a bowel movement. Lactulose is a colonic acidifier that works by increasing stool water content and softening the stool. It is a man-made sugar solution.
Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily for constipation, or as directed by your doctor. If you are taking the solution, to improve the taste, you may mix it into fruit juice, water, milk, or a soft dessert. If you are using the crystals in packets, dissolve the contents of the packet in half a glass of water (4 ounces or 120 milliliters), or as directed by your doctor.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to take it at the same time each day. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
It may take up to 48 hours to have a bowel movement. Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Gas, bloating, burping, stomach rumbling/pain, nausea, and cramps may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: diarrhea, vomiting, muscle cramps/weakness, irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes, seizures, severe or persistent stomach/abdominal pain, bloody stools, rectal bleeding.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Before taking lactulose, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: a low galactose diet (e.g., a diet that includes few or no milk products), certain other bowel problem (bowel obstruction).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: diabetes.
The elderly may be at a greater risk for loss of blood minerals (e.g., potassium, sodium) while using this drug, especially if they are using it for an extended time.
Do not take any other laxative medications while taking this drug. Frequent use or overuse of laxatives can cause a severe loss of body water (dehydration). This is especially likely to occur in children or the elderly. Contact your doctor right away if you develop any of the following symptoms of dehydration: muscle weakness, muscle cramps, dizziness.
Before having surgery or other procedures (e.g., electrocautery), tell your doctor or surgeon that you are using this medication.
This medication contains different sugars. If you have diabetes, this medication may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not freeze because this will make the medication too thick to pour. If it becomes frozen, warm it to room temperature until it is pourable again. A normal darkening of color may occur. If too much darkening occurs and you cannot swallow it, discard the medication and get a refill. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: antacids containing aluminum and/or magnesium, other laxatives.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe stomach cramps, diarrhea.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Do not share this product with others.
If you use this product for an extended time, laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood mineral levels) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.