Docusate / senna Side Effects
For the Consumer
Applies to docusate / senna: oral tablet
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction while taking docusate / senna: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using docusate and senna and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting; or
no bowel movement.
Less serious side effects of docusate / senna may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to docusate / senna: oral tablet
Gastrointestinal side effects of docusate have included gastrointestinal cramping.
Gastrointestinal side effects of senna have included esophageal impaction and duodenal bezoars. These effects have been reported in patients receiving a bulk laxative product containing 82% psyllium and 18% senna (commercially available as Perdiem Overnight Relief).[Ref]
One case has been reported involving a factory worker who developed IgE-mediated asthma and rhinoconjunctivitis five months after exposure to senna.[Ref]
Hypersensitivity side effects of senna have rarely included occupational sensitization to senna.[Ref]
Metabolic side effects of docusate have included at least one case report of hypomagnesemia.[Ref]
Metabolic abnormalities reported include hypomagnesemia in one woman who took docusate chronically throughout her pregnancy. Magnesium levels returned to normal following discontinuation of docusate.[Ref]
Musculoskeletal side effects of senna have rarely included finger clubbing.[Ref]
Dermatologic side effects of docusate have included rash.[Ref]
1. "Product Information. Colace (docusate)." Roberts Pharmaceutical Corporation, Eatontown, NJ.
2. Dorr MB, Johnson RD, Jensen B, Magner D, Marbury T, Talbo GH "Pharmacokinetics of sparfloxacin in patients with renal impairment." Clin Ther 21 (1999): 1202-15
3. Helin T, Makinen-Kiljunen S "Occupational asthma and rhinoconjunctivitis caused by senna." Allergy 51 (1996): 181-4
4. Malmquist J, Ericsson B, Hulten-Nosslin MB, Jeppsson JO, Ljungberg O "Finger clubbing and aspartylglucosamine excretion in a laxative- abusing patient." Postgrad Med J 56 (1980): 862-4
5. Schindler AM "Isolated neonatal hypomagnesaemia associated with maternal overuse of stool softener" Lancet 2 (1984): 822
6. Prior J, White I "Tetany and clubbing in patient who ingested large quantities of senna [letter." Lancet 2 (1978): 947
Not all side effects for docusate / senna may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.
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