When Should You Take A Lactaid Pill & How Does It Work?

Lactaid Pill: An Overview

Lactaid pill contains the enzyme lactase, which will help in the breakdown of lactose into glucose and galactose. This will prevent people with lactose intolerance getting symptoms due to undigested lactose. The lactaid pill should be taken just before you consume any dairy product. The amount of pills needed differs from individual and also on the amount of lactose taken at one time. So you need to try different food items with the lactaid pill and find out the how much your body can tolerate at one go.

Lactaid pill is one of the brands of lactase enzyme supplements taken to treat lactose intolerance. Lactaid pill is available as caplets and chewable tablets. The pill contains lactase. Lactase is the enzyme that will help break down (hydrolyze) the lactose (disaccharide) into glucose and galactose (monosaccharaides) which are simpler sugar molecules. Lactase is normally produced in the small intestine.

When Should You Take A Lactaid Pill?

Take the lactaid pill just before or at the same time as consuming a dairy product.

Do not take the pill too early (like 20 to 30 minute before eating) because this will not give the required effect.

How Many Lactaid Pills Can Be Taken At Once?

No one actually knows how many lactaid pills are needed before consuming any dairy product to be symptom free. Like I mentioned earlier, it differs from person to person and according to the amount of lactose you consume. So how can you know for sure, it’s simply a process of trial and error.

E.g. take one lactaid pill and soon after drink a half glass of milk or have a bowl of cereal. If you don’t develop any symptoms, next time you can take one pill and then have one glass of milk (increase the portion slightly). If you get symptoms with increasing the portion you can mark the amount of food portion you can have with one pill and if you want to have more then add two pills and see how much you can consume. Like this you can try how much of lactaid pills are needed to digest different portions of dairy products. It’s advised not to take more than two pills at once.

Remember some dairy products you will be able to tolerate without any lactaid pill. Make sure you identify those food products and the quantity you can tolerate.

Directions To Use Lactaid Pills

The lists below are the different preparations of lactaid pill and the maximum amount to be taken at a time

Original Strength – take 3 caplets just before consuming dairy foods

Extra Strength – take 2 caplets just before consuming dairy foods

Ultra Caplets – take 1 caplet just before consuming dairy foods (maximum is 2 caplets at a time)

Ultra Chewables – chew 1 chewable caplet just before consuming dairy foods (maximum 2 at a time)

How Does Lactaid Pill Work?

The lactaid pill can be taken before you consume any dairy product or products that contain lactose, then the lactose will be digested by the supplement lactase enzyme and you won’t get any problem. Numerous studies done on lactase enzyme pill consuming people shows that it is very effective for people with lactose intolerance. Since it’s an enzyme supplement of an enzyme that naturally exists in your body it does not give any side effects; however, we cannot tell this for sure because it has not been researched enough to tell that there are no side effects at all.

The strength of the lactase pills are expressed in FCC (Food Chemical Codex) units. Higher the amount of FCC in a pill means it has more lactase in it. Lactaid pill contains 9000 FCC which is quite high, that means you will need fewer amounts of these pills to avoid symptoms of lactose intolerance.

Lactose-Free Diet

If you have lactose intolerance first we start with the elimination phase that is you have a lactose free or low lactose diet whenever possible. It’s called following a LOW FODMAP diet. After the elimination phase you can start trying lactaid pill if you want.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 8, 2018

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