GENERIC NAME: senna (sennosides)
BRAND NAME: Senokot, Senokot EXTRA and others
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Senna is a natural medicine derived from the senna plant. Senna contains sennosides which acts as a stimulant laxative. It works by irritating and stimulating intestinal cells, producing contractions in intestines, water influx to the intestines and bowel movement.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Sennosides is used for occasional constipation and should not be used for longer than 7 days.
SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of sennosides are:
- abdominal pain,
- electrolyte imbalance,
- urine discoloration, and
- finger clubbing from long-term use.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 8.6, 15, 25 mg; Chewable Tablet: 10, 15 mg; Liquid or Syrup: 8.8 mg/5 ml; Concentrated oral drops: 8.8 mg/ml
STORAGE: Store sennosides tablets between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
- Adults and children 12 years of age and over: The recommended starting dose is to use two 8.6 mg tablets by mouth once a day; maximum daily dose is 100 mg.
- Children 6 to 12 years of age: The recommended starting dose is to use one 8.6 mg by mouth once a day; maximum daily dose 50 mg a day.
- Children 2 to 6 years of age: The recommended dose is 4.3 to 17.2 mg per day.
- Safe and effective use of sennosides is not established in children younger than 2 years of age.
PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies done on sennosides to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.
NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether sennosides enters breast milk; therefore, it is best to be cautious before using it in nursing mothers.
Medically reviewed by Eni Williams, PharmD
REFERENCES: MedscapeReference. Constipation Medication.
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