noun[mass noun] Chemistry
A synthetic sugar with laxative properties. It is a disaccharide consisting of glucose and fructose units.
- In addition, unabsorbed lactose has an osmotic effect not unlike that of lactulose, a synthetic laxative, increasing the amount of fluid retained in the bowel.
- Osmotic laxatives such as lactulose are effective alternatives to soften hard stools.
- The most effective daily treatments for opioid-induced constipation are senna, senna combined with a stool softener, Phillips' Milk of Magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) or lactulose.
1930s: from lacto- 'of milk', perhaps on the pattern of cellulose.
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