Trouble Taking Lactulose

Our pharmacist answers the latest question regarding a patient who has trouble taking the drug lactulose.


My mother-in-Law has cirrhosis of the liver and ha s to take lactulose. 4 times a day she can't stand the taste and we have a hard time getting her to take it, Do pharmacists still sell the empty gel capsules and if so could the lactalose be put in them to disguise the taste so she would take it? And if not do you have any other idea's please help . Thank you for you time.

Asked by Hunter On Oct 02, 2017

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Oct 02, 2017

The dose of lactulose is typically 15 to 30 ml at a time and that would simply too much to take in via a capsule. Pharmacies DO sell empty capsules but with such a volume, you would have to ingest over 10 capsules per dose.

Lactulose is known to be tough to tolerate.  To improve flavor, mix lactulose with a full glass of water, milk, fruit juice, or carbonated citrus beverage.
One alternative could be to try and have her take a drug known as Kristalose. It is a powdered form of lactulose that can be mixed and tends to be better tolerated.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in numerous publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy-related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any inquiries or want to connect! He's answered thousands of medication and pharmacy-related questions and he's ready to answer yours! Office: 716-389-3076

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