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Generic Name: senna (SEH nah)
Brand Names: Black Draught, Dosaflex, Dr Caldwell Laxative, Ex-Lax Chocolated, Ex-Lax Gentle Nature, Ex-Lax Maximum Relief Formula, Ex-Lax Regular Strength Pills, Fletchers Castoria, Gentlax, Innerclean, Sennalax, Senokot, Senokot Child, Senokot Extra, Senolax, X Prep

What is senna?

The use of senna in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

Senna is also known as Cassia senna, tinnevelly senna, India senna, Alexandrian senna, and Khartoum senna.

Senna has been used in the treatment of constipation.

Senna has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of senna may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Senna may also have uses other than those listed in this product guide.

What is the most important information I should know about senna?

Do not use senna for longer than 1 week without consulting your doctor or other health care provider. Prolonged use of senna can be dangerous.

Senna has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of senna may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Who should not take senna?

Do not take senna without first talking to your doctor if you have
  • an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn"s disease or ulcerative colitis,

  • other intestinal problems, or

  • abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting.

You may not be able to take senna or you may require special monitoring while taking senna if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Also, talk to your doctor before taking senna if you have any other medical conditions, allergies, or if you take other medicines or herbal/health supplements. Senna may not be recommended in some situations.

Do not take senna without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. Do not take senna without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Some forms of senna are formulated for use by children. Talk to the child"s doctor before using this product to treat a child.

How should I take senna?

The use of senna in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

If you choose to take senna, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

It is usually recommended that senna be taken before bed, to produce a bowel movement 6 to 12 hours later upon awakening.

Standardized extracts, tinctures, liquids and solid formulations of herbal/health supplements may provide a more reliable dose of the product.

Do not use senna for longer than 1 week without consulting your doctor or other health care provider. Prolonged use of senna can be dangerous. Do not take more of this product than is directed. Do not use different formulations (e.g., tablets, liquid, and others) of senna at the same time, unless specifically directed to do so by a health care professional. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose of senna.

Store senna as directed on the package. In general, senna should be protected from light and moisture.

What happens if I miss a dose?

No information is available regarding a missed dose of senna. Consult your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider if you require further information.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a senna overdose are not known.

What should I avoid while taking senna?

There are no known restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while taking senna, unless otherwise directed by your health care provider.

Senna side effects

Although uncommon, allergic reactions to senna have been reported. Stop taking senna and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

Prolonged use of senna has been reported to cause:

  • chronic diarrhea causing excessive electrolyte and nutrient loss,

  • worsened constipation after senna withdrawal (laxative dependency),

  • enlargement of the ends of the fingers and toes, and

  • pigmentation of the colon.

Notify your doctor if the constipation does not improve after one week of treatment with senna.

Other less serious side effects have also been infrequently reported. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you experience

  • abdominal cramping,

  • diarrhea, or

  • discoloration of the urine.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect senna?

There are no reported interactions between senna and other medications. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines or other herbal/health supplements.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider may have more information about senna.

  • Consultation with a licensed health care professional is advisable before using any herbal/health supplement. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous. Remember, keep this and all other prescription drug products, over-the-counter drug products, and herbal/health supplements out of the reach of children.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ("Multum") is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum"s drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum"s drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.04. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:02:08 PM.




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