Lactulose (Brand Name:Duphalac) is a synthetic sugar that is used to treat constipation.
It breaks down in the colon in products that draw water from the body and into the colon. This water softens the stool.
Lactulose is also used to reduce the amount of ammonia in the blood of patients with liver disease. It works by extracting ammonia from the blood into the colon, where it is eliminated from the body.
Duphalac is used in the treatment of
- Hepatic encephalopathy.
The FDA approved lactulose in March 1976.
Duphalac Mechanism Of Action
In the colon the lactulose (Duphalac) is degraded mainly by the action of beta-galactosidase of the colon bacteria, which leads to an increase in osmotic pressure and a slight acidification of the large intestine to lactic acid and small amounts of formic and acetic acid. This in turn causes an increase in the water content of the stool and softens the stool.
In the treatment of liver diseases (hepatic encephalopathy), it is believed that lactulose extracts ammonia from the body in the same way that it draws water into the colon.
Duphalac Side effects
Common side effect associated with the use of Duphalac include
- Abdominal discomfort (e.g.cramping).
- Dehydration and hyponatremiain infants.
- wind (farting and burping)
- feeling sick
- stomach pain
While serious Side effect include
- Irregular heartbeat
- Severe diarrhoea or vomiting
- Muscle cramps or
Before taking Duphalac
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other medicines you are taking, in particular antacids, antibiotics such as neomycin and other laxatives.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to lactulose or any other medicines.
- Tell your doctor if you have diabetes or if you need a low-lactose diet.
- If you are having surgery or a test on your colon or rectum, tell the doctor that you are taking lactulose.
Duphalac in pregnancy
Lactulose is usually taken during pregnancy and while breast-feeding.
Normal dose for constipation:
The usual dose for adults and children 14 years of age is between 15 ml and 45 ml once or twice daily. This dose can be reduced to 15 ml to 30 ml once or twice a day after starting work.
The usual dose for children aged 7 to 14 years is 15 ml once or twice a day; This dose can be reduced to 10 ml to 15 ml once or twice a day after starting work.
The usual dose for children aged 1 to 6 years (under the supervision of a doctor) is between 5 ml and 10 ml once or twice daily
And the dose for babies under 1 year (only under medical supervision) is up to 5 ml once or twice a day
For Hepatic encephalopathy
In adults with hepatic encephalopathy the normal dose is between 30 ml and 45 ml 3 to 4 times daily.