Brand Name(s): Constulose, Kristalose
Drug Class: Laxative
Treats: Constipation, Hepatic Encephalopathy
Lactulose is a drug primarily used in the treatment of constipation. As a laxative, Lactulose works by drawing water into the stools, thereby loosening them and making them easier to pass through the intestines. However, the function of Lactulose also extends to patients at risk of hyperammonemia. This is a condition where the body has elevated levels of ammonia, which may lead to hepatic encephalopathy. Lactulose works at the level of the intestine where it prevents the absorption of ammonia by de-coupling it through a chemical reaction. One of the major benefits of Lactulose is its tolerable side-effect profile coupled with the fact that there are no major drug interactions.
Lactulose is a medication usually in a solution formula that is used for the treatment of constipation. This drug is classified under a group of medications known as laxatives.
As a colonic acidifier, Lactulose works in the colon by drawing water from other parts to the colon. In effect, this process softens the stool inside the patient's colon, thus helping in the production of the required bowel movement.
Patients who are allergic to the main ingredients contained in Lactulose solution or who are on a low galactose diet are advised not to take this medication for this may result in severe side effects.