Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Medicines & treatments centre

Terms Of Use

SENNA

Brand Name(s) : Senokot
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

SENNA WARNINGS

Senna should be used with caution in: sharp or persistent stomach pain, if your abdomen (stomach area) is tender to touch or hurts when you move, you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

It should not be used in: severe or ongoing stomach problems for which the cause is unknown, patients who are feeling sick or being sick, patients who have stomach pain or a blockage in their intestine.

Also see list of precautions and interactions

STORAGE

Store below 25ºC.

SENNA USES

Senna is used to relieve constipation.

It is a laxative, sometimes known as a stimulant laxative.

It is used to loosen the stool (motion) in the bowel (large intestine) in patients who have difficulty going to the toilet (passing stools) or who go to the toilet less often than is usual for them.

In general this drug is used for the treatment of constipation.

Benefits of being on this drug can include making it easier to go to the toilet, feeling less bloated and feeling more comfortable.

Listed below are the typical uses of senna.

  • Constipation.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • Senna is available as a solution, tablets or granules. Take this medication by mouth usually once a day at bedtime.
  • Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. If there is no bowel movement after 3 days, consult your doctor. Do not take the medicine for a long time unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • It may take up to 8-12 hours before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • It is not necessary to avoid anything. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • Senna should only be used for a short time. Consult your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after three days of taking senna.

SENNA SIDE EFFECTS

  • Temporary mild stomach pain (griping) if the dose is changed
  • Watery diarrhoea
  • Changes in the bowel which may cause severe diarrhoea or constipation
  • Stools (faeces) or urine become red or yellow in colour
  • Heart or kidney problems
If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform doctor or pharmacist.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.

SENNA PRECAUTIONS

Before taking senna, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other laxatives; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe or ongoing stomach problems for which the cause is unknown, are feeling sick or being sick, have stomach pain or a blockage in your intestine.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: sharp or persistent stomach pain, abdomen (stomach area) is tender to touch or hurts when you move, pregnant or breastfeeding..

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Alcohol intake is not known to affect senna.

The elderly: senna can be used in the elderly.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

PREGNANCY

Senna is suitable to take during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

Senna is suitable to take if you are breastfeeding.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

SENNA INTERACTIONS

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal interactions may occur:

  • None known.

If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before using senna.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and non-prescription/herbal products you may use, especially of:

  • None known.

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using senna, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.

SENNA OVERDOSE

Symptoms of an overdose include severe diarrhoea. It is important that you drink plenty, particularly fruit drinks, if you accidentally take too much senna.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of senna or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Find a medication

Search by medication name for information on over-the-counter or prescription medications including side effects and interactions.
indicates detailed medicines information

Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited or TicTac Communications Ltd. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

Search for a medicine or treatment

Search by medicine name or treatment for information including side effects and interactions.

Ex. Simvastatin, Ibuprofen, Amitriptyline Hydrochlorine

Popular Slideshows & Tools on Boots WebMD

woman looking at pregnancy test
Early pregnancy symptoms
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
fish n chips
Diarrhoea & more
man coughing
10 common allergy triggers
couple watching sunset
How much do you know?
hand extinguishing cigarette
13 best tips to stop smoking
woman washing face
Living and dealing with eczema
boy looking at broccoli
Quick tips for feeding picky eaters
bag of crisps
Food cravings that wreck your diet
dogs face
Workout with Fido
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting