What is Senna

Senna is an anthraquinone laxative similar to cascara. It is a plant derivative. Senna is used for relief of constipation in adult and pediatric patients 2 years and older.

Senna is also used off-label, under a prescriber’s direction only, for occasional relief of constipation in infants and children younger than 2 years of age.

Senna is useful for constipation due to opiate analgesics; in adults, the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) recommends the daily use of an osmotic laxative in combination with a stimulant laxative at least 2 to 3 times per week as first-line therapy in patients with opioid-induced constipation (OIC).

Indications & Dosage

  • constipation

Side Effects

  • abdominal pain
  • anaphylactoid reactions
  • diarrhea
  • fecal urgency
  • flatulence
  • hypokalemia
  • melanosis coli
  • nausea
  • rash
  • urine discoloration
  • vomiting
  • wheezing

Monitoring Parameters

  • laboratory monitoring not necessary


  • abdominal pain
  • breast-feeding
  • diarrhea
  • geriatric
  • GI bleeding
  • GI disease
  • GI obstruction
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • neonates
  • pregnancy
  • sodium restriction
  • vomiting
  • Atropine; Difenoxin
  • Atropine; Diphenoxylate
  • Bumetanide
  • Dichlorphenamide
  • Droperidol
  • Ethacrynic Acid
  • Furosemide
  • Lactulose
  • Loop diuretics
  • Polyethylene Glycol
  • Polyethylene Glycol; Electrolytes
  • Polyethylene Glycol; Electrolytes; Ascorbic Acid
  • Polyethylene Glycol; Electrolytes; Bisacodyl
  • Torsemide

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