Senna / Sennosides

Medication Information Leaflet

​What is this medication for?

Senna / Sennosides is used to treat constipation. It usually takes 6 to 12 hours to work. 

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Take your medicine as prescribed by your healthcare professional.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food. Administer two hours before or after other medications. This medicine is best taken at bedtime.
  • Senna generally causes bowel movement in 6 to 12 hours. Check with your healthcare professional if your symptoms do not go away.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose. 

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if: 
  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication.
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies. 
  • Inform your healthcare professional if you have either pre-existing and/or a history of bowel obstruction.

What are some side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medicine and see your healthcare professional immediately.
  • Seek immediate medical attention should you experience rectal bleeding (including blackened stool) or bloody vomit, or should symptoms persist despite treatment.

What are some other side-effects of this medication?

Side effects of senna include abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.
  • If side effects are persistent, please consult your healthcare professional.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Please inform your healthcare professionals if you are taking other medicines including traditional or herbal preparations.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children. 

How should I throw away this medication safely?

For general waste: Pack this medicine into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.

Please take note that the above is not a complete list of all possible side effects. If you have any concerns about your medication or if you have other side effects that you think are caused by this medication, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on September 2022

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