Lactulose and side effects

Has anyone on here taken Lactulose for constipation? I have been suffering with bad constipation for about 3 to 4 weeks now - I don't normally suffer that long - and have been suffering with a lot of stomach cramps. I have been taking Buscupan every single day but have now bought Windeze Gel capsules as they used to work really well - the Buscupan doesn't seem to be touching it.

I went to the pharmacy today and asked what is the gentlest solution for constipation and they suggested Lactulose. I have now read the possible side effects on the bottle and they are: Increased wind and feeling bloated (this may occur during the first few days of treatment but usually disappears after a few days)

Diarrhoea (particularly with high doses)

Stomach (abdominal) pain

Nausea and vomiting. When I purchased the bottle this morning the Pharmacist did not warn me about the side effects and in fact when you read the side of the bottle it doesn't list them. I found out when I got home that the label peels off and then the label turns into a little booklet and it's when you read that you find the side effects. Vomiting - great as I suffer with Emetophobia.

What I would like to know is if anyone has taken this medicine and had any of the side effects and in particular the nausea and vomiting.

Thanks very much

23 Replies

  • Hi,

    I myself have taken lactulose whilst I was pregnant with twins. Also my eldest twin (3 yrs old) who has cerebral palsy takes it daily. As a constipation medication it's good, drink plenty of water & try to walk around a little to help it work through your system. Hopefully you will find it gives you some relief without any side effects as it's done for us. Good luck.

  • My hubby takes loads of Lactulose, doesn't cause any side effects for him, our cat is also on it, works a treat.

  • I was advised not to take lactulose because of the excess bloating and gas. Movicol is probably better (Laxido brand name)

  • I call laxido--laxidon't--it made me really ill--I was on the toilet about 40 times per day each time i took it----after 3 times of taking it, that was enough--it also caused horrible cramping--it was nightmarish--recently as I suffer from long-term constipation due to tons of health conditions-(too many to list here) I tried lactulose--I was hesitant as I thought it would be similar to laxidon't, but it is not! The difference is lactulose is not absorbed by the body at all, it just helps ease out the constipation, laxidon't is absorbed--the first night it worked perfectly, I have now been on it a week, and I no longer am suffering with bloating and horrifying constipation-I still have hard bm's, but they pass easier. I didn't experience the excessive wind issue. It just helped me to go, and believe me, my constipation was life-changing. I hope it continues working as well as it has been.

  • I've taken lactulose over the years. I think it's fine but it can take a few days to work. Didn't have any side effects that stand out.

  • I've been using Lactulose following major surgery & understand that this product only softens the stool, you then need something else to help move it through the bowel. I used Laxido, one sachet per day & after a few days got the desired results.

  • I cannot take this because of side effects. I use golden linseed soaked in water for an hour just before bed time.. hope this helps

  • How much linseed please? This sounds a nice natural method too 👍Thank you

  • I have been using 1 dessert spoonful at night for 6 can use your search engine for more info. Also take in more soluble fiber,that helps as well. I am 74,spent years buying medication from chemist shelf,prescriptions from gps

    Nothing worked for me,so thank my lucky stars I found these. I buy mine from my local supermarket with my weekly shop

  • I know I'm afraid GPS are hopeless.... linseed it is then..and I have porridge with fruit trying almost no gluten and almost no dairy too to get over a bad blip😳Sugar doesn't help either ..good luck

  • Make sure you eat gluten free porridge - theses a few you can buy nowadays!! I still can't eat it as too much fibre for me

  • Thank you Jane and appreciate your help.


  • And I've you to thank Grannycake as I now take golden linseed every day and it works for me as well.


  • Lactulose is not great for IBS sufferers because it causes lots of wind which obviously makes the problem worse. John Hunter in his book "Irritable Bowel Solutions" says that it is not now the laxative of choice for gastro doctors when dealing with IBS patients. I used it for years on and off and suffered the side effects because dr's kept prescribing it for me! I use Movicol now which is better for me but not without it's problems - but what works for one of us doesn't for another!

  • As a fellow I b s sufferer I find lactulose makes the bloating and cramping far worse. Best not to use if you suffer I b s

  • Thank you all very much for responding, it is much appreciated. Having now read all of the replies I think I will go with the Linseed as easy to get hold of and natural. In fact I have some organic golden linseed in my cupboard that I actually need to use up.

    Good luck to you all and hope that you also find some relief from this horrible disease.

    :) x

  • I think the reason Lactulose is prescribed frequently by doctors is because it is gentle and works by softening the stool rather than Senna products as they are laxatives. Laxatives are not gentle on the body and long term use can cause serious damage. I've used Lactulose for years and my daughter has just been started on it because she takes a lot of opiate based medication. I haven't tried linseed so can't comment on its effectiveness. Good luck 🍀

  • For me it just caused masses of wind!

  • Hi,I find that laxido it better you can take about 8 sachets daily sometimes it takes that to get things moving again the cramps and bloating will calm down after things are moving again I have taken lactolose but it took about 48 hours to work and I found it really sickly (to be fair they all taste awful )I always drink loads of water as the can all of luck treez

  • Thank you all for your responses it is very much appreciated. As I am suffering an awful lot of wind I have decided not to use the Lactulose and have started on the golden linseed instead today - I had some in my porridge this morning and have also had some off a spoon.

    Thank you all :)

  • I have taken it before and found it useless, didnt relieve my constipation at all. My daughter has also had it and she is only 10 and it did nothing for her either....and no side effects experienced by either of us. Give it a try, start off on low dose & see how it works for you.

  • I used lactolose once after I was on pain meds for a few weeks. It was the only thing that worked for me. No side effects.

  • Thank you Sconset and glad it worked for you with no side effects - strange that they say they are common as I haven't seen many people that have replied that have had the side effects.

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