Sennosides

Pronunciation

Generic Name: sennosides (SEN-oh-sides)
Brand Name: Examples include Senna-Lax and Senokot

Sennosides is used for:

Treating constipation.

Sennosides is a stimulant laxative. It works by irritating bowel tissues, resulting in bowel movements.

Do NOT use sennosides if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in sennosides
  • you have had recent abdominal surgery or require immediate abdominal surgery
  • you have appendicitis; bleeding of the stomach, intestine, or rectum; or an obstruction in your intestines (fecal impaction)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Before using sennosides:

Some medical conditions may interact with sennosides. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have congestive heart failure, you are experiencing nausea or vomiting, or you have undiagnosed stomach pain

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with sennosides. However, no specific interactions with sennosides are known at this time.

Ask your health care provider if sennosides may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use sennosides:

Use sennosides as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take sennosides by mouth with or without food.
  • Take sennosides with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL). Drink extra fluids while you are taking sennosides, unless instructed differently by your doctor.
  • It is best to take sennosides at bedtime.
  • If you miss a dose of sennosides, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use sennosides.

Important safety information:

  • A bowel movement usually occurs in 6 to 12 hours.
  • Do not use for longer than 1 week without checking with your doctor.
  • Using sennosides for a long time may result in loss of normal bowel function.
  • Do not take additional laxatives or stool softeners with sennosides unless directed by your doctor.
  • If you notice a sudden change in bowel habits that lasts for 2 weeks or more, stop using sennosides and check with your doctor.
  • Sennosides may discolor the urine pink to red, or yellow to brown.
  • Sennosides should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 6 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using sennosides while you are pregnant. It is not known if sennosides is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use sennosides, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Overuse of laxatives can lead to a DEPENDENCE on laxatives to have a bowel movement. In severe overuse cases, some laxatives have caused damage to the intestines and bowel.

Possible side effects of sennosides:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Abdominal discomfort or cramping; diarrhea; nausea.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); kidney inflammation; poor bowel function; rectal bleeding.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of sennosides:

Store sennosides at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep sennosides out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about sennosides, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Sennosides is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take sennosides or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about sennosides. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to sennosides. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using sennosides.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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