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Ex-Lax Side Effects

Generic name: senna

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 2, 2023.

Note: This document contains side effect information about senna. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Ex-Lax.

Applies to senna: oral capsule liquid filled, oral liquid, oral syrup, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable.

Serious side effects of Ex-Lax

Along with its needed effects, senna (the active ingredient contained in Ex-Lax) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking senna:

Incidence not known

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to senna: compounding powder, oral disintegrating strip, oral granule, oral liquid, oral syrup, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable, rectal suppository.


Frequency not reported: Abdominal pain, abdominal spasm, diarrhea, gastrointestinal tract mucosal pigmentation, intestinal mucosa pigmentation, liquid stool passage, pseudomelanosis coli[Ref]

Abdominal pain, abdominal spasm, and liquid stool passage usually occurred in patients with irritable colon and may occur in individual overdose events; dose reductions should be performed if the side effects occur.

Chronic use may result in intestinal mucosa pigmentation/pseudomelanosis coli, which usually recedes with treatment discontinuation.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Albuminuria, chromaturia, hematuria, pH-dependent urine metabolite discoloration, red-brown urine metabolite discoloration, yellow urine metabolite discoloration[Ref]

Albuminuria and hematuria may occur as a result of electrolyte and water equilibrium disorders.

Urine discoloration by metabolites was not clinically significant.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Generalized exanthema, localized exanthema, pruritus, urticaria[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Cachexia, electrolyte metabolism disorder, hypokalemia, tetany, water equilibrium disorder[Ref]

Chronic use may result in electrolyte metabolism and water equilibrium disorders.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypersensitivity/hypersensitivity reactions[Ref]

Hypersensitivity reactions included generalized/local exanthema, pruritus, and/or urticaria.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Finger clubbing, hypertrophic osteoarthropathy[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypogammaglobulinemia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Asthma[Ref]

Frequently asked questions


1. (2005) "Product Information. Fletchers Castoria (senna)." Mentholatum Company, The

2. (2022) "Product Information. SenoSol-X (senna)." Apothecon Inc

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics."

4. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information."

5. (2019) "Product Information. Ex-Lax Chocolated (senna)." Novartis Consumer Health

6. (2019) "Product Information. Ex-Lax Extra Strength (senna)." Novartis Consumer Health

7. (2019) "Product Information. Ex-Lax Regular Strength Pills (senna)." Novartis Consumer Health

8. (2019) "Product Information. Senna (senna)." Humco Holding Group

9. (2019) "Product Information. Senna Lax (senna)." Mylan Institutional (formerly UDL Laboratories)

10. (2019) "Product Information. Senokot (senna)." Palmetto State Pharmaceuticals Inc

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.