Constipation can be caused by a poor diet, not drinking enough water and not going to the toilet as soon as you feel you need to. Pregnancy, a lack of exercise or movement (such as being ill in bed) and some medicines, including some painkillers, can also cause constipation.
However, many people take laxatives when they do not need to because they believe that they are constipated unless they go to the toilet every day. This is not the case. A useful definition of constipation is going to the toilet less frequently than is normal for you, and passing hard stools (poo) when you do go.
Senna works by encouraging the muscles in your bowel to move stools through your body. This helps you to go to the toilet. It usually has an effect within 8-12 hours. It is available to buy without a prescription at pharmacies.
- Before taking senna, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about senna, including a full list of side-effects which you may experience.
- The usual adult dose is two tablets, or two to four 5 ml spoonfuls of oral liquid, in the evening. Senna should only be used for a short time. This is because your bowel can start to rely on this type of laxative to make it work rather than working on it's own. If you are still constipated after taking senna for three days, you should make an appointment to speak with your doctor.
- Do not give senna to a child unless it has been recommended by a healthcare professional.
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome
Side-effects of senna :Stomach pain or cramp, diarrhoea
What can I do if I experience this? : Stop taking senna
|If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.|