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Lactulose by HiTech Pharmacal Co

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Trade Names:

General Description:

This drug is a medication that is used in dogs and cats to help increase the amount of fluid in the colon thereby softening the stool. It can also be used to increase the amount of ammonia that is excreted in the stool. Lactulose is available in the form of a powder as well as a syrup.

What is this drug?
• A disaccharide sugar molecule
• Given by mouth

Reasons for prescribing:
• To treat constipation
• To treat hepatic encephalopathy

What dogs/cats should not take this medication?
• Animals with diabetes
• Animals that are dehydrated
• Animals that have electrolyte imbalances
• Animals that may be pregnant or nursing
• Animals with a known hypersensitivity or allergy to this drug should not take this medication


Read and follow the prescription label carefully.

Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed.

Discuss with your veterinarian if this medication is to be given with food.

Give this medication for as long as your veterinarian directs. Do not skip doses or stop giving the medication without consulting your veterinarian.

Baseline blood work may be recommended to assess your pet's general health before starting this medication.

Periodic blood work to monitor its effects on the body may also be advised if long term therapy is necessary. Dose adjustments may be made based upon these results and an assessment of how your dog or cats is responding clinically.

Ensure that your pet has access to fresh water at all times while using this medication.

Call ahead for refills.

Ideally, give this medication at the same time(s) daily.

What if a dose is missed?

If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.

What to tell/ask a veterinarian before giving medication?

Talk to your veterinarian about:
• When your pet will need to be rechecked
• What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
• What are the risks and benefits of using this drug

Tell your veterinarian about:
• If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
• If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
• If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
• If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
• All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet's medications can be given together.
• If your pet is pregnant, nursing or if you plan to breed your pet

Storage and Warnings:

Lactulose should be stored in a childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct light.

Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.

Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.

Potential side effects:
• This medication can affect the gastrointestinal system causing cramping, flatulence, and diarrhea
• This medication may cause drooling in cats as they do not like the taste of this medication
• This medication may cause dehydration
• If these symptoms persist or you notice anything else unusual, contact your veterinarian

Can this drug be given with other drugs?
• Yes, but possible interactions may occur when giving lactulose in conjunction with: antacids, antibiotics, and other laxatives
• Drugs other than those listed may also interact with lactulose
• Do not give new food or medications without first talking to your veterinarian
• If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian


Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet receives more than the prescribed amount.

What else should I know?

Notify your veterinarian if your animal's condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.

As with all prescribed medicines, lactulose should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed.

It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.

This is just a summary of information about lactulose. If you have any questions or concerns about lactulose or the condition it was prescribed for, please contact your veterinarian.

(Enulose, Cephulac)

Common Drug Name

Common Brand Names
Enulose, Cephulac
Generic products are available.

Store at room temperature in a tight, light resistant container. Protect from freezing. If exposed to heat or light the syrup may become cloudy or dark. This does not appear to affect its potency. Do NOT refrigerate, as the syrup may become too thick.

Lactulose is a medication that is used as a stool softener to treat constipation. It is used commonly in cats with megacolon. It may also be used in the treatment of liver disease in small pets and birds to help reduce ammonia that can build up in the blood.

Dose and Administration
Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. If you have difficulty giving the medication, contact your veterinarian.
Many cats do not like the taste of lactulose, and it may be difficult to get them to accept it.
For cats with megacolon, this medication may need to be given for the life of the animal.
If you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to the regular schedule. Do not give 2 doses at once.
This medication should only be given to the pet for whom it was prescribed.

Possible Side Effects
May see increased gas, distention of the stomach (animal appears bloated) and stomach cramping. These side effects usually diminish with time. Consult your veterinarian if you notice any of the above side effects.
Consult your veterinarian if signs of disease worsen or less than 2-3 soft stools per day are produced in dogs, cats, or other mammals.
If your pet experiences an allergic reaction to the medication, signs may include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, or coma. If you observe any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Not for use in animals hypersensitive (allergic) to it.
May alter insulin requirements in diabetic animals.
Use cautiously in animals with fluid or electrolyte imbalances.
To prevent dehydration, make sure your pet has plenty of clean water to drink while being treated with lactulose.
Consult with your veterinarian regarding the physical examinations and laboratory testing necessary prior to and during treatment with lactulose. 

Drug, Food, and Test Interactions
Notify your veterinarian of any other medications, including vitamins and supplements, your pet is taking while your pet is receiving lactulose.
Consult your veterinarian before using lactulose with other laxatives, antibiotics, or oral antacids, since interactions may occur.
No known food interactions.

Signs of Toxicity/Overdose
Diarrhea and dehydration are the most common signs of an overdose.
If you know or suspect your pet has had an overdose, or if you observe any of these signs in your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets.

This information may not cover all possible uses, directions, side effects, precautions, allergic reactions, drug interactions, or withdrawal times.   Always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet.


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