UK icon
UK Registered Pharmacy
head shoulders icon
Friendly Patient Support
padlocks icon
Confidential Service

For delivery by
Order within:
Next Day delivery also available

Lactulose

Lactulose is a medication that’s used to relieve constipation. It is a generic medicine and usually available in syrup form that’s often very sweet to taste.

Lactulose solution is available on prescription, in pharmacies, and online via services such as Doctor4U. It’s a popular treatment for relieving symptoms of constipation because of how well-tolerated it is.

Lactulose is a safe medicine as long as it’s taken as directed and not misused. If you think you may need lactulose for constipation, you can order it online from Doctor4U after completing a few short questions to make sure that it’s suitable for you

Last Patient Information Leaflet Review: 17/03/2020

Lactulose Patient Information Leaflet

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ANSWER SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR SYMPTOMS
Please note all the answers are reviewed by a doctor to assess eligibility
Online consulting and prescribing service
Dispensing of prescriptions and supply of medicine
Secure SSL Encryption
Dr. Daniel Cichi GMC No. 6163403

Dr Daniel Cichi has 20 years experience as a doctor and now he is a senior GP. He worked in A&E departments, GP surgeries and on cruise ships.

Shamir Patel GPHC No. 2049338

Shamir is a well-respected pharmacist with extensive experience running online pharmacies in the UK.

Lactulose for constipation

Lactulose is most often used for constipation, though it can also be used alongside other medicines to treat a condition called hepatic encephalopathy. However, Doctor4U can only prescribe lactulose solution to treat constipation, the symptoms of which are:

  • Not having had a poo at least 3 times in the last 7 days
  • Stools that are difficult to push out
  • Larger stools than usual
  • Stools that are dry, hard or lumpy.

Lactulose is one of many laxatives that are available for constipation, and if you find that it isn’t suitable for you, there are plenty of other options to choose from, such as:

  • Fybogel
  • Methylcellulose
  • Senna
  • Bisacodyl (fleet)
  • Glycerine suppositories
  • Archais oil
  • Docusate laxatives

Most laxatives work in different ways to achieve the same effects, but lactulose is one of the treatments that are most commonly used, partly due to how easily available it is, and how effective it is without causing many adverse effects.

Lactulose is often advised to people that take opiates such as codeine or morphine, as medicines like these can cause constipation, so doctors will often recommend lactulose solution to relieve symptoms. It’s a popular choice due to the fact that it isn’t known to enter the bloodstream, and works within the bowel instead.

Because of how sweet lactulose syrup can be, the NHS recommends mixing it with half a glass of water or fruit juice if you find it too sweet to take on its own.

What does lactulose do

Lactulose belongs to a family of medicines called osmotic laxatives, and is an effective treatment for constipation due to the way it works in the body. Lactulose syrup helps if you have particularly dry or hard-to-pass stools, as it helps to draws water from the rest of the body to the bowel in order to soften hard stools.

Once stools are softened, they become easier to pass, and won’t hurt as much when you push as they won’t be as dry and hard. However, misusing lactulose or taking too much of it can cause diarrhoea, so you must take notice of the dosage instructions and only take it when you need to do that you can avoid adverse effects.

How long does lactulose take to work?

Lactulose can take 2-3 days to work, so you’re best taking it when you first notice signs of constipation, rather than waiting for it to get worse before starting treatment.

It’s incredibly important to stay hydrated whilst you take lactulose, as this helps the medication to draw more water from your body in order to relieve your symptoms. If you don’t drink enough fluids, lactulose syrup might not work as well for you, and you may struggle with your symptoms for longer.

If you still feel constipated after 3 days, you should speak to your GP, as you may need a different type of laxative to relieve your symptoms. Severe or long-term constipation can lead to faecal impaction, which needs stronger treatments than uncomplicated constipation.

Lactulose side effects

Although lactulose is incredibly well-tolerated by most, it’s still a medication and can cause side effects in some users.

Some of the most commonly reported lactulose side effects include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Flatulence
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Electrolyte imbalance due to diarrhoea

Most of these side effects should be easy to deal with, and there are various other treatments you can take to combat some of them, but if you find that the adverse effects outweigh the benefits, you should stop taking lactulose and as your GP or a local pharmacist for advice on what else you can take, as a different type of laxative might be more suitable for you.

You may be more at risk of experiencing side effects if you also take any of the following medicines, as they’re known to sometimes interact with lactulose solution:

  • Thiazides
  • Steroids
  • Amphothericin B
  • Cardiac glycosides

If you do take any of these treatments, please speak to your doctor before you buy lactulose, as it might not be the best medicine for you to take.

Because of some of the side effects that lactulose can cause, it generally isn’t recommended for people with IBS, as it can worsen the condition in some cases. Because of this, we advise that if you have IBS and are experiencing constipation, you should visit your GP for advice on which laxative would be best for you.

Lactulose dose

Your dosage of lactulose syrup will depend on the severity of your constipation, but it’s generally recommended that the starting dose for an adult should be between 15ml to 45ml of solution per day. This is normally taken in two doses. This dosage can then be dropped to a maximum of 30ml per day.

When you aren’t constipated any more, you can stop taking lactulose. You should only ever take this treatment when you have symptoms of constipation, as misuse can lead to adverse effects such as prolonged diarrhoea and an electrolyte imbalance.

Is lactulose safe in pregnancy

According to the NHS, “lactulose is generally safe to take during pregnancy and while breastfeeding”. However, they also advise that if you do experience constipation whilst pregnant of breastfeeding, that you should first try other, natural methods of relieving your symptoms instead of taking any medication.

Things that you can do to help relieve constipation include:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids. Water helps to hydrate your body, including your bowel, and may help with softening your stools
  • Eating foods that are rich in fibre
  • Not avoiding the toilet when you need to poo. Many people only feel comfortable pooing in their own home, but avoiding a toilet trip when you need one can make your symptoms worse
  • Daily exercise, as this can encourage regular bowel movements.

If none of these things work, you should ask your own GP for advice on what to do.

Buy lactulose

You can buy lactulose in pharmacies and online, making it one of the easiest constipation treatments to get hold of. Lactulose is usually a low-cost option for constipation treatment, and is available for around 3% or less in many places.

Before you buy lactulose, you should ask a pharmacist or doctor whether it’s suitable for you based on your symptoms.

Buy lactulose online

You can now buy lactulose online from Doctor4U. You’ll still need to answer a few short questions so that we can make sure that it’s safe for you, but you can do this at a time and place that suits you.

Buying lactulose from Doctor4U is fast, safe, and secure, with the same level of professionalism and confidentiality that you’d expect from your own doctor.

Dosage Instructions
Take 15-45ml daily, either in one or two doses.
Write Your Own Review
You're reviewing:Lactulose
No Questions

Delivery Charges

The following delivery methods are currently available within the UK: All orders are sent in discreet, plain packaging.

UK Standard Delivery, £1.99

Order before 12pm to have your order delivered using Royal Mail Tracked 48 Service

standard UK delivery within 3-5 working days

Additional terms and conditions apply.

UK Express Delivery, £2.99

Order before 12pm to have your order delivered using the Express delivery service* (deliveries are made Monday - Saturday)

If you order after 12pm, your order will be dispatched the next working day and will be with you within 48 hours once dispatched. This excludes weekends and bank holidays

Additional terms and conditions apply.

Royal Mail Special Delivery Next Day Anytime, £4.99 (This service includes Saturday)

Order before 12pm to have your order delivered using Royal Mail Special Delivery Service, which includes Saturday deliveries.

Additional terms and conditions apply.

Royal Mail Special Delivery Next Day Before 1pm, £7.99 (This service includes Saturday)

Order before 12pm to have your order delivered before 1pm next day using Royal Mail Special Delivery service, this also includes Saturday deliveries.

Additional terms and conditions apply.

Royal Mail Special Delivery Next Day Before 9am, £14.99 (This service includes Saturday)

Order before 12pm to have your order delivered before 9am next day using Royal Mail Special Delivery service, this also includes Saturday deliveries.

Additional terms and conditions apply.

DPD Next Day Delivery, £4.99 (Monday - Friday only. This service does not include Saturday)

Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered the following working day

If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

Additional terms and conditions apply.

DPD Next Day Delivery, by 12 Noon, £9.99 (Monday - Friday only. This service does not include Saturday)

Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered by 12 noon the following working day

If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

Additional terms and conditions apply.

DPD Next Day Delivery, by 10:30am, £14.99  (Monday - Friday only. This service does not include Saturday)

Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered by 10:30am the following working day

If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

Additional terms and conditions apply.

DPD Saturday Delivery, £14.99

Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered the following Saturday

If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

Additional terms and conditions apply

DPD Saturday Delivery, by 12:00am, £21.99

Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered by 12:00am Saturday

If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

Additional terms and conditions apply.

DPD Saturday Delivery, by 10:30am, £29.99

Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered by 10:30am Saturday

If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

Additional terms and conditions apply, please see below.

US and outside the UK

Unfortunately, we can't process orders from outside the UK at this time.


Terms and Conditions

Delivery options exclude Bank Holidays, public holidays and Sundays.All deliveries are subject to Doctor-4-u successfully receiving payment and prescription being approved by the doctor.

All purchases require additional approval, which will involve completion of an online questionnaire and any subsequent approval.

Out of stock