IBS Tales Home > Treatment Reviews > IBS Medications > Lactulose


Rated 3.8/5 based on 6 reviews

Lactulose is a sugar which is not metabolized, and therefore is not absorbed by the body. Because it is not absorbed, the bacteria in the colon or large bowel break the sugar down into acids. These acids then attract water into the colon and soften the stool. Lactulose is used to treat constipation, as it produces softer stools which can be easier to pass. Lactulose comes in the form of a sugary syrup which is swallowed neat or can be mixed with water and other liquids.

Lactulose side effects

The most common side effects of Lactulose are stomach cramps, burping or belching and flatulence.


Review by Kelly

I have had IBS for about 10 years. Mine consists of severe abdominal pain and hours of trying to go! I flare about five or six times a year. The pain is so bad that I pray for it to go away! Recently, I have had severe constipation, and I was prescribed Lactulose. I took it for about five days and it seemed to work on some of my symptoms, but there was no diarrhea. I didn't take it for a few days; and the original issues came back: lower abdominal pain with gas that goes nowhere!

So I have had four doses of Lactulose with a bulking agent that I was also told to take. I chose Konsyl since it has the most fiber in it. So far; only a little bit of going...I wish it would give me diarrhea! This is really upsetting since I can barely stand the pain; I was up all night two nights ago with insane pain! This has been going on for a month. I guess I should take the Lactulose every day, maybe that will help...I'm going to the doctor on Monday...

Review by Kilo

I was diagnosed with IBS-C/chronic constipation in my early teens. It wasn't until last summer that a hospital prescribed Lactulose, and 30ml twice daily seemed to do the trick, but I found it unbearably sweet. I have now started mixing it with about 250ml of orange juice.

Review by Linda

I have alternating constipation and diarrhea with my IBS, and I have not had much luck with anything. I've was recently prescribed Lactulose, and while it is easy to take I find it quite brutal with cramping, abdominal pain and severe diarrhea. This is with the lowest dose prescribed. I will continue seeking alternatives.

Review by Ed

I saw my doctor today and I was prescribed Lactulose, a remarkable relief for my constipation. Within a few hours I was finally free from the pain that I had been suffering with for a week with no relief. It was over in one trip to the bathroom for a few minutes. No major cramps, or irritation to the rectum from repeated trips to the bathroom, as you experience with other treatments. It was a gift from heaven.

Even the possible side effects are the same side effects you already have from being constipated. I will only use it once a day for three days and take two or three days without it. I have to find the best dosage for me and experiment with how many days to take a dose and when to give it a break, but this time I did 30ml neat. I could have a more normal life now.

Review by Johanna

I have suffered from IBS-C for many years. I have also had problems with acid reflux, and I recently had surgery for a complex problem with my colon. A doctor recommended Lactulose for my constipation problem, which got worse after abdominal surgery. You have to find out how the Lactulose works best for you to get good results and to avoid diarrhea. For me it's 33ml once or twice a day. Sometimes I find I need to go a few days without taking it to avoid diarrhea. You need a prescription to get it and it comes in a bottle. You drink it straight, and it does taste a little sugary.

Review by Evelyn

Well I have alternating IBS (diarrhea and constipation). I have tried all kinds of medications - the last one was Zelnorm and it did not work. I went back to Lactulose and drinking eight glasses of water a day and eating lots of fruit (five times a day). Now I have the diarrhea part but it is better then the constipation part. I have had IBS for over 30 years. Hope this helps someone.

Do you suffer from IBS? Have you tried Lactulose? Please contact Sophie to send in your review.

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