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Lactulose is a laxative which is available either on prescription or over the counter from the pharmacy. It contains sugars which are not broken down by the body but act along with the bacteria which is in the gut to pull water into the bowel and thus soften the stool making it easier to go.
Lactulose is an extremely sweet and sticky liquid, the usual adult dose is three 5ml spoonfuls, which can be taken up to twice a day. There are reduced doses for children and babies but it is best to consult a doctor if they need treatment. The liquid tastes really sweet, unpleasantly so but it can be mixed with either water or juice to make it more palatable. I personally recommend that adults just gulp it down as quickly as possible and then rinse the mouth out with water afterwards. It is recommended that you up your fluid intake when you take lactulose as your body needs the extra liquid to be taken into the bowel in order for the medicine to work.
I have taken lactulose a few times and found that it is effective within a day or two doses. It is a gentle laxative in that it does not cause an explosive bowel movement like some other medicines can but rather works gently to restore normal bowel functioning.
Lactulose also works on cats, although it is probably not a good idea to use it without a vets advice. My kitty Shadow was severely constipated a few months ago and the initial enema did not work so he was sent home with a bottle of lactulose. The dose for a 5Kg cat is 5ml and getting that sticky liquid inside a cat's belly is not easy. I discovered that a downside of that sticky liquid is that it sticks to a cat's whiskers! The lactulose did work for Shadow after a couple of doses and I have occasionally needed to give him a half dose when I see the symptoms of constipation starting again.
One thing that really annoyed me about the lactulose being prescribed for the cat was the price, a 30ml bottle from the vet cost over £6 to be dispensed while a 500ml bottle from the pharmacy costs around £5.
If you are constipated and the lifestyle changes of drinking more water and eating more fibre do not work then give lactulose a try, suitable for all the family from young babies to adults and feline friends too!
WHAT IS IT?
Lactulose is the medicine that is given by doctors if you present yourself with constipation. It is a mixture of sugar and water that will help you to get back to your normal bowel habits.
WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
It does not taste good and is sweet but without any flavour that would make it taste sweet and nice. It is not that bad that it would make you feel sick but it is not pleasing to drink.
DOES IT WORK?
I do not think it works very quickly but if you are not experiencing pain because of being constipated than you should work with the Lactulose instead of moving to something stronger because this is a gentle way to clear the bowels. It does not make you feel like you have got to go to the toilet as soon as it starts working because of it being so gentle but when you do go it will be easier and you will not have to strain and make yourself sore.
Lactulose is given to children also but my children eat a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables so they have never been constipated. You can mix it with a childs drink because they will not like the taste but do not add it into orange juice because that make give a child an upset stomach and make a reversal of constipation.
Lactulose costs about £3 for a small bottle from the chemist but you do not have to take very much so a bottle will last for a long time. You can get it on prescription but that is only worth it if you have free prescriptions or if it is for a child because the cost of the prescription is more than if you buy it for yourself.
4 Dooyoo Stars.
When I gave birth to my son at the end of last year, my doctor prescribed some Lactulose to alleviate some of the discomfort I might experience when opening my bowels. Without going into too much detail, I had experienced extensive damage to my perineum and going to the toilet was incredibly painful, so my doctor prescribed Lactulose to help keep everything soft and prevent any unnecessary discomfort.
Lactulose solution is a gentle laxative which helps prevent constipation. I say "gentle" because it doesn't actually cause you to open your bowels, but instead softens stools so that when you do open your bowels it passes through easier. I was very nervous about using it at first, as I didn't really understand this so was worried that it would cause me to go the other way and cause my movements to be too loose. But once I got my head around what it was actually designed to do, I started taking it regularly and it did work for me.
The solution itself is quite sweet tasting - everyone warned me it would taste awful but to be honest I didn't really notice the taste....perhaps I was too pre-occupied with the pain I was in following childbirth! It is, however, a very sticky solution, so when pouring it from the bottle I'd recommend doing so over the sink or a spare tea towel, rather than over the sofa or your clothes, as it's a bit of a pain to remove once it sticks.
The recommended daily dosage for adults is three 5ml spoonfuls, and although I started off taking three each day, once things had started to improve I gradually reduced this down to two and then one, until I didn't feel the need to take it any longer. With regular use, it did make my stools softer so I didn't experience any unnecessary pressure to be placed on my damaged muscles. I was so glad I took this as it meant I wasn't in any more pain than I needed to be in.
Lactulose is also suitable for children and babies, although the recommended dosage differs for these groups. My son was also prescribed some when he was a few weeks old, because some medication he was on had caused him to become constipated and he was in pain trying to pass his stools. The Lactulose did work to soften things and make him more comfortable.
A 500ml bottle costs £5.34 from Chemist Direct, and I would recommend it if for any reason you are having trouble with hard stools causing painful bowel movements.
My little boy has Autistic Spectrum Disorder and this has affected daily life in many ways. One of the preblems that we had with him was that it was a nighmare to potty train him (he actually had to start school in nappies) and even when he had made the transition to proper pants, he was still having regular soiling accidents. The doctor told us that this was die to the fact that he was "holding on" to his poo until he couldn't hold it anymore and that what why he kept soiling his pants. She recommended that he take a 5ml spoon of lactulose syrup daily.
I went to the chemist to fetch the prescription and realised that she had actually prescribed my child a mild laxative. "Is she out of her mind?" I thought. "Isn't that going to make him poo MORE?". However, as she was a doctor, I presumed that she would know best, so gave it a go.
Lactulose is a very mild laxative that is commonly given to young children to treat constipation. Although the name "Lactulose" sounds like it is a natural product, it is actually a synthetic sugar, which is made of a combination of two other sugars, fructose and galactose. The body cannot digest lactulose, so it passes into the colon, where bacteria break it down into acids, which pull water into the colon, which is then absorbed by the stool, making it easier to pass. As Lactulose has a very mild effect, it is usually considered safe to use, except for thoose who have an intolerance to galactose. Side effects in sensitive individuals are usually limited to watery stools or excessive gas.
The syrup is quite watery in consistency and has no colour. It has no real flavour, but it is very sweet, a bit like sugar water. My son didn't mind the taste at all, but then most kids like sweet things! It was no problem getting him to take his daily spoonful and usually he wanted more, which of course, I said no to!
Lactulose is quite cheap to buy over the counter at the chemist, for about £4 for a 500 ml bottle.
So, did it work? Well despite my initial scepticism, yes it did! The lactulose had a very mild effect, which caused him to poo more regularly. I was able to "catch" the poo my sitting him on the toilet at the same time evey day when he came home from school. As time passed, I was able to slowly decrease the dosage to every other day, before stopping it completely as he became used to sitting on the loo at the same time every day. Lactulose is not a medicine that I would want to keep him on indefinitely, but it has been really useful in helping him learn to control his bowel movements. A few weeks later, he did slip back into bad habits, but a few doses of Lactulose worked a treat and got him back on track again. I am pleased to report that generally, he is pretty reliable at telling me when he needs to go to the loo.
I would recommend Lactulose for children and adults with constipation, but I would always advise getting a doctor's opinion first, especially if it is a child involved, as they can ascertain whether the problem is constipation or anything more serious. Most kids get constipated at some point and it can be really painful for them, so Lactulose can be a very useful addition to the medicine cupboard.
Although i eat reasonably well, i have often had 'bowel problems' stemming from childhood, and often made worse when i stay away from home or have a slight change in my diet to containing more fruit. I sometimes think i verge on irritable bowel as i can go from constipated to having to be close to the toilet in the space of one day.
I never really thought about it much before i became pregnant. I would just have a good glug of orange juice and it would sort me out. However, one day when i was about 26 weeks pregnant with my second pregnancy, i had horrible stomach pains, and was advised to go into the maternity monitoring unit as i couldn't feel the baby moving about. After i had been sat there recording movements for an hour, and done a urine sample, i was relieved but a little embarassed when i was told i was so badly constipated it was causing the pain.
I ended up being prescribed 6L of lactulose, which was a further mortification when the chemist dispensed it to me.
I'm not going to go into the total ins and outs of it, but i was told to take 3x5ml spoons twice a day through the pregnancy. It certainly made sure that my bowels were not constrained for the rest of the pregnancy, and we still have a couple of bottles of this lurking around now for if i ever feel the need again.
Lactulose is basically a very sweetened suspension. It needs to be shaken up well before use or the sugar comes out of the suspension a bit, and you get a crunchy sticky coating on the top of the liquid where the sugar has recrystallised, and you find that it gets harder to unscrew the lid on your bottle.
It is an artifial sugar which acts as a food source for beneficial gut bacteria. It helps the motions retain extra water through the increase in the bacteria, so the mass of the motion is more, and it will be softer, easier to pass, and you will pass motions more frequently.
Taking the lactulose was not overly unpleasant unless it had not been shaken properly and you got crunchy sugar crystals, but it was quite sickly sweet and i have a pretty sweet tooth. I found during the pregnancy one of my molar teeth which had been filled previously actually broke, and then kept breaking. I eventually had to have the tooth pulled out. This may or may not have happened without the lactulose consumption, but it did make me rather wary about it.
Lactulose does seem to be commonly prescribed for pregnant women to use, as your intestines fail to work as well during the later stages because there is a great big baby in the way. Not surprising really.
I found it made my pregnancy more comfortable and i would definitely take it again if i had constipation problems.
I know it does not work as well for everyone though. My dad is a paraplegic disabled from his T-vertebrates just below shoulder height. He has the same sluggish digestion as he is not moving around. He tried lactulose and it wasn't a good reliable solution for him. He prefers movicol.
Lactulose is a less invasive treatment than movicol, and does seem to have some effect. Relief was not instant by any means, but it did relieve my blockages and was safe to take while pregnant.
During pregnancy I began to suffer going to the toilet so my doctor suggested I tried some lactulose, lactulose solution can be purchased in chemists and costs around £2.25 for 300ml or £4 for 500ml. Lactulose can be used for constipation and hepatic encephalopathy.
When I got lactolose from the doctor it came in a plastic clouded bottle and when you buy it is generally in a white plastic bottle with an inbuilt handle, the liquid inside is more syrup than liquid and is yellow in colour.
When you are prescribed lactulose you should follow the directions from your doctor however if you are buying the product then the dosages are adults and children over 10 years 3 x 5ml spoons twice a day, children 5-10 years 2 x 5ml spoonfuls twice a day and children 1-5 years 1 x 5ml spoons twice a day.
Each 5ml spoon of lactolose contains 3.4g of lactulose, lactose, fructose and D-galactose and as you would expect it tastes just like sugary syrup. The possible side effects of taking lactulose are wind and stomach cramps but other than that there is not much else to expect.
I took this medicine for a couple of months during pregnancy and it simply did do the job however my 3 year old took it for a short while when the doctor could feel a blockage in her bowel and it gave her the runs and didn't move the blockage at all. The doctor actually told use that lactulose is not always the best medication and put my daughter on movicol instead. I would say that this is easy to take but it may not suit everyone and a more suitable medicine may need to be found. It is also worth noting that as there is so much sugar substance in the medicine it is bad for your teeth and extra care should be taken of them whilst taking it.
I first came across Lactulose Solution when my doctor had given me tablets for pain relief that had the unfortunate side effect of constipation. After taking these tablets for a while I went back and complained about this and was given the talk on fibre which I was eating plenty of, and then she prescribed me a 500ml bottle of Lactulose Solution and explained it's a sugary solution that attracts water into the bowels and makes stools softer and easier to pass. I picked up my bottle of this and went away thinking at least she hadn't given me something that I personally would class as medicine to treat symptoms of another medicine. I was getting a bit fed up at this point of being given tablets to treat side effects of other tablets etc and not getting much pain relief either.
Once I got the bottle home I read the label which told me to take 10-15ml twice daily as I was an adult. Children between 5 and 10 can take 10ml twice daily, children 1 to 5 years old can take 5 ml twice daily and babies 2.5ml twice daily. The fact babies could take this made me realise it was pretty harmless stuff. Pregnant women can also take this but it is necessary to talk to your doctor first. I was paying for prescriptions at that point too and it also didn't take me long to realise I could buy this cheaper online, at the time I was using it which was about 6 years ago it cost about £3 for a 500ml bottle online but I notice now it's often a bit more than that so shopping around is advisable if you decide to buy some.
There didn't seem to be much in the way of warnings except diabetics clearly can't take this without their doctor's guidance as it's sugar and basically the dose could be adjusted a bit if you were finding it too high or low so I decided to start on 10ml twice a day. Despite my best efforts to keep medicine bottles clean when they contain liquid I always fail and this was no exception. Within a few days I had a very sticky bottle on my hands even though I kept wiping the side with a wet sponge.
The liquid is a kind of light amber colour and smells very sugary. It is gloopy in consistency and tastes revoltingly sweet. I don't have much of a sweet tooth and this was very, very sweet but as it's a sugary liquid it shouldn't have been a surprise. I used to gulp mine down and grimace before washing it down with lots of water.
It does help though and within a couple of days things were back to normal in the toilet department so I never had to go to the higher dose available for adults. However one thing my doctor didn't warn me about was getting dehydrated. I usually drink loads of water every day so this didn't happen to me until I got a heavy cold and ended up dehydrated. I can confirm that not drinking enough water actually makes Lactulose have the opposite effect to what it normally does and makes you constipated again. It took several days to get it to work again too because my cold was really drying my system out so make sure you're aware of that if you take it. Water by the bucket load! It is perfectly safe to use Lactulose Solution long term too as it's not like the laxatives that stimulate the gut and can stop it working on its own.
After I changed tablets and moved away from the original offenders this sat in the cupboard for a while, it seemed to get darker in colour as time passed and the bottle remained very sticky so I threw it away and have never used Lactulose Solution since.
Overall it does work but make sure you drink plenty of water with it, it's cheaper to buy without a prescription if you pay for them and it tastes sweet and grim! A full 5 stars from me though as it does what it's supposed to.
I've never been the most 'regular' person in the world when it comes to my toilet habits, and during all four of my pregnancies the problem gets worse. I therefore know Lactulose well, this being the main constipation remedy offered to pregnant women. Senna may also be prescribed now, but if used properly the sugary syrup of Lactulose can be very effective.
Depending on how generous your GP is you'll either get a standard medicine bottle filled with Lactulose, or a branded 500ml bottle with twist off pouring cap. I had this one and found it much easier than measuring out a 20ml dose using teaspoons!
The Lactulose itself is basically sugared water, the texture feels thick but in a sticky way rather than it having a gloopy consistency. It has a definite sweet taste but there's also something I find mildly offensive about Lactulose when drunk neat.
Anyway, this isn't really a problem as Lactulose is most effective when mixed into a large glass of orange juice. This isn't the recommended way but it does help it to kick in quicker, which is helpful as Lactulose is such a natural(ish) remedy. Stick to the dosage on the bottle and use a good quality orange juice for a gentle push to help you go to the loo.
For me the beauty of Lactulose is that it works quickly enough to shift things along, but you don't need to overdo the dosage in order to help yourself get a bit more regular. Usually it'll take four or five daily doses and then I can go without for a week and still manage to go to the 'proper toilet' (in my usual slow fashion).
The problem is never entirely cured, this will just give you a hand as and when you need it. It can also safely be used for babies and children, although this must obviously be under medical supervision. A healthy adult isn't likely to overdose on Lactulose, a dose of roughly double the recommended will give you the runs after a few days but as soon as you stop taking it you'll quickly get back to normal. Whatever normal is when it comes to bowel habits!
If mixing Lactulose with orange juice doesn't sound appetising then it can also be taken in a glass of water. I find the effects are a little slower using this method but, again, if you bear with it you'll soon see results.
I've got to specify this, Lactulose rarely causes an explosive need to go to the toilet. This may occur if you vastly increase the dose, but if you're sensible with the medicine then it's extremely gentle. In pregnancy it's a lifesaver, but with my sluggish bowels I will happily add it to my juice whenever I need a boost.
*** Packaging ***
This product comes in a cream opaque bottle, it has a flat base in order to help it stand straight, and then there is a label around the middle section providing all the information.
The label is not particularly appealing and looks very medical, all the information is in black with a tiny hint of blue shading around the name of the product. On reading the label there is a small line that states there is further information underneath. To access this you need to tear to label to reveal a small booklet. Once you have done this though it will not go back so you must put it in a safe place to refer back to.
On the top of the product is the lid which is made of hard plastic, this has a child safety lock on it therefore to access you need to push down on the lid and turn anti clockwise. If you just turn the cap it will only click you must pushdown first.
On first glace this product looks horrible, but then again it's not really something you want to advertise in bright eye catching colours.
*** What Is It? ***
Lactulose if a solution that is designed to treat constipation, the solution is a clear colour but it's not see-through, it has a slight yellow tinge to it.
The solution is also very runny however not as runny as water it is slightly thicker more like a thin gel or syrup. Once you take off the cap there is no real aroma, it does have a smell to it but it's nothing nasty.
I also found the solution to be very sticky, and it can be quite difficult to get off, I found the best way is to wash your hands with hot soapy water.
*** How To Use It? ***
Lactulose is not a prescription drug but it has to be bought over the pharmacy counter (got mine from Superdrug)
It doesn't come with a medicine spoon so you either need to buy one of you don't have one, or I used a teaspoon. For adults you need to take 3 - 6 spoonfuls a day at different intervals.
For children 2 - 5 spoonfuls a day, depending on the age of your child you can still use a spoon; however I gave my daughter it at aged 1 and it was so much easier to buy a syringe and put it in her mouth that way.
It doesn't taste particularly nice either, it's not horrible and my daughter actually seems to like the taste, but I think its tastes very oily
*** Warnings ***
Do not take if you have an allergy to any of the ingredients (listed below)
Do not take if you have a blocked bowel that is not constipation
Do not take if you have high levels of galactose in your blood
Do not take if you have intolerances to lactose
Take care if you are pregnant (particularly in the first 3 months)
Pay attention to dental hygiene as this product contains lots of sugars
Taking the product with food can help minimise any feelings of sickness
*** Ingredients ***
The active ingredients is Lactulose, the other ingredients in this products are:
*** Does It Work? ***
Simple answer, Yes.
The thing I found most difficult about this product is how to get the desired effect, I either took too much, so it worked too well (and I wont explain in detail what that means) or I didn't take enough therefore I still struggled.
It took a couple of days to actually get regular again but that is only because I couldn't work out how much to take.
With my daughter it worked within hours, usually a little too well so I had some explosions to clean up.
I didn't suffer any side effects but apparently it can make you feel nauseous and give you mild cramps, but I didn't have either of these.
*** Summary ***
For anyone who is struggling, whether its you or your child I recommend this 100% it works very well and gets things moving a lot quicker than some other things I have tried.
I know it's not a nice subject buy particully after have a child things really slowed up and this is been a god send to me.
Also when taking my daughter off milk and onto solids she really had problems to the point where she used to bleed because her stools were that hard. After literally 2 hours of taking this it was much easier for her.
I paid £4.50 for the bottle, it is a bit on the expensive side but it lasts a really long time and is well worth the price.