Title: SENNA
23 Feb 2012

Self Medication Guide For Common Illnesses

Read this leaflet carefully before taking your medicine. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you have any further questions about your medicine. 

1.  Generic Name or Active Ingredient:


2.  Uses:

      Available as tablets for the treatment of constipation.

3.  How This Medicine Works:

      It increases the activity of the bowel muscles.

4.  Do Not Use This Medicine If:

·         You are allergic to senna or any other ingredients in this medicine.

·         You suffer from bowel obstruction, acute inflammation such as Crohn’s disease, appendicitis, nausea and vomiting, undiagnosed abdominal pain, ileostomy, colostomy, or rectal bleeding.

·         You are pregnant. 

5.  Before You Start To Use This Medicine:

·         Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are allergic to any other medications.

·         Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have undergone any bowel surgery recently.

·         Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you plan to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

·         Consult a doctor before using this medicine in children.

6.   Using With Other Medication:

Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medication, vitamins, herbal preparations or supplements as they may interfere with this medicine. 

7.  How To Use This Medicine:

Follow the directions on your medication label carefully, and ask your pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. (hyperlink DIS)

a)    How to take

·         Take with a full glass of water (250ml). 

b)   When to take

·         Best taken at bedtime if taking only once a day.

·         May be taken with or without food.

·         Take with food if this medicine causes an upset stomach. 

c)    How long to take

·         Do not use for longer than 7 days, unless advised by your pharmacist or doctor. 

d)   If you forget to take it

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine. Do not double the dose. 

8.  While Using This Medicine: 

a)    Things you should do:

·         Drink plenty of fluids

·         Consult your doctor if there is no bowel movement after 3 days or if there is persistent abdominal pain. 

b)   Things you must NOT do:

·         Do not exceed the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.

·         Do not take additional laxatives or stool softeners with senna unless directed by your doctor.

In case of overdose, seek immediate medical attention.

Overuse of laxatives can lead to a DEPENDENCE on laxatives to have a bowel movement. In severe overuse cases, some laxatives have caused damage to the intestines and bowel 

9.  Side Effects:

All medicines may have some unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the time they are not. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any side effects which are severe or persistent.

      Possible side effects:

·         Abdominal discomfort/cramping

·         Diarrhea

·         Nausea

·         Discoloration of urine

10. Storage and disposal:

·         Store at room temperature and in a dry place.

·         Keep away from direct sunlight.

·         Keep out of reach of children.

·         Do not use after the expiry date has passed.

·         Return any unused or expired medication to the nearest pharmacy.


1.    Website:

2.    Micromedex Healthcare Series 2.0

3.    Lexicomp’s Drug Information Handbook 19th edition

4.    Malaysian Index of Medical Specialities 2011

5.    British National Formulary Vol. 60