This drug is used by mouth or rectally to treat or prevent complications of liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy). It does not cure the problem, but may help to improve mental status. Lactulose is a colonic acidifier that works by decreasing the amount of ammonia in the blood. It is a man-made sugar solution.
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.
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.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Before using 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.
Do not take any laxative medications while using 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.
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