Compare Colace vs. lactulose

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Colace (docusate)

Over-the-counter

Generlac (lactulose)

Prescription only
Softens your stools.

Colace (docusate) softens the stool, but may not stimulate a bowel movement as quickly as a laxative.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 125 reviewsforColace
Relieves constipation and gets rid of ammonia in people with liver problems.

Generlac (lactulose) relieves constipation and high ammonia levels, but it can take up to 48 hours to work.

Upsides
  • Safer than laxatives.
  • Available over-the-counter.
  • Safe to use in children as young as 2 years old.
  • Generlac (lactulose) is the first-choice treatment for brain conditions caused by high ammonia levels.
  • Can be used if you have severe chronic constipation leading to blockage.
  • Available in generic.
  • Can be taken orally or rectally.
Downsides
  • May take up to 5 days for the full effects to kick in.
  • Intended to be used only as a short-term solution for occasional constipation. Other options such as fiber supplements may be more useful for maintaining regular bowel movements.
  • Should not be used if you are on a galactose-restricted diet.
  • Does not provide rapid relief of constipation. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you need quick relief.
  • Generlac (lactulose) has a very sweet flavor that most people don't like.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Enema
  • Liquid
  • Liquid
  • Powder
Price
No pricing information available
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Reviews
125 reviews so far
66%
saidit'sworth it
49%
saiditworked well
13%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Colace (docusate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Generlac (lactulose) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Complete or partial blockage of intestines
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Mineral imbalances
    • Taking Generlac (lactulose) for more than 6 months
    • Elderly
    • Taking medications that cause mineral imbalance
    • Not exercising regularly
  • Increased blood sugar
    • Diabetes
  • Problems during colonoscopy
See more detailed risks and warnings