Lactulose is a laxative and not a stool softener. It’s used to help relieve constipation by increasing the amount of water in your intestines, which makes it easier for you to have a bowel movement. Lactulose can only be obtained through prescription from your doctor or healthcare provider.
Is Lactulose safe?
Lactulose is a safe laxative when taken as prescribed by your doctor or healthcare provider. If you experience any side effects, call the number on the prescription label and speak to your pharmacy where it was purchased.
Do not use it if you are lactose intolerant, have diabetes, allergic reaction or galactosaemia.
Is lactulose only used for constipation?
No, it is also used to help prevent dehydration. It can be prescribed for people with chronic illnesses and those who have had surgery that may interfere with their ability to use the bathroom normally. Lactulose might also be prescribed if you are dehydrated from vomiting or diarrhea, which could cause a condition called hypovolemic shock.
Lactulose binds water in your intestines by pulling fluid into the digestive tract where it causes an increase in bowel movements. The increased number of bowel movements helps relieve constipation since there’s more stool coming out because of all the excess liquid running through your body (bowels).
How long lactulose takes to work?
It may take between 24 hours up to 48 hours before you notice a difference; however, if after that time period you’re still feeling no relief then contact your doctor.
The difference between a laxative and stool softener can be confusing because they both increase liquid inside the intestine but only one decreases your anal sphincter muscle tone causing defecation .
What are stool softeners?
A stool softener is a drug that makes it easier to go to the bathroom. It can be effective for people who have irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids or anal fissures. In general, they are not addictive and do not operate by any particular mechanism allowing them to work over time in order to soften stool. Examples of common softeners include docusate (Colace), mineral oil, and psyllium fiber supplements such as Metamucil and others.
What are laxatives?
Laxatives are substances that have the effect of making stools soft and easier to pass. Laxative generally work by increasing the water content in your intestines, which makes it softer for you to go poop.
Examples include: Dulcolax (bisacodyl), Ex-Lax (senna), Milk of Magnesia, Senokot, Miralax or fiber supplements such as Metamucil and others.