Senna Constipation Relief Tablets
Constipation is when your bowel movements are less frequent and more difficult than normal. Normal bowel habit can vary with each individual and this can be anything from 3 stools per day to 3 per week. A stool should be solid but moist and it should be easy to pass.
Constipation is a common problem, which most of us will experience at some point in our lives. However, constipation is more common in the elderly and during pregnancy.
Senna tablets are used for the short term relief of occasional constipation. Senna can also be used to clean out the intestines before a bowel examination or surgery. This medicine does not help with weight loss.
- Senna tablets are to only be taken by mouth.
- Not recommended for children under 12 years of age.
- Do not take this medicine for more than seven days.
- You should drink plenty of fluids while you are taking this medicine.
Consult your doctor if you do not have a bowel movement or your symptoms do not improve after three days, or if they get worse during treatment with this medicine.
Always get advice from a healthcare professional before taking this medicine if:
- you are allergic or sensitive to or have had a reaction to any of the ingredients in the medicine.
- you have persistent stomach pain or discomfort
- you have abdominal problems that have come on suddenly and have not been diagnosed by a doctor you have nausea you are vomiting you have an obstruction in the gut
- you have recently had bowel surgery
- you have an ileostomy or colostomy
- you have gastrointestinal bleeding
- you need to take a laxative every day
Drug Safety Update: measures for stimulant laxatives.
Stimulant laxatives should only be used if other laxatives (bulk-forming and osmotic) are ineffective. Children younger than 12 years should not use stimulant laxatives without advice from a prescriber and clinical guidance should be followed.
Uses / Instructions
Always take this medicine exactly as described in this leaflet or as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
For oral use only
The correct individual dose is the smallest required to produce a comfortable soft-formed motion.
Adults, the elderly and children over 12 years:
- One to two tablets in a single dose at bedtime.
Children over 12 years:
- One tablet at bedtime under medical guidance. The tablets should be taken with a glass of water.
Not recommended for use in children under 12 years and medical advice should be sought.
Do not take more tablets than recommended in the leaflet. New users should start with the lowest dose and increase it to the maximum dose if necessary. Once regularity has been regained, the dosage should be reduced and can usually be stopped.
Duration of use
Usually it is sufficient to take this medicinal product up to two to three times a week. Use for more than 1-2 weeks requires medical supervision.
Tell a doctor, pharmacist or nurse if:
- The symptoms worsen, or persist during the use of the medicinal product
- There is no bowel movement within 3 days of use
- You need to take laxatives every day or if abdominal pain persists
If the symptoms worsen or persist a doctor or pharmacist should be consulted.
If you have accidentally taken too many tablets, consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
It may be harmful to take too much of this medicine or take it for too long.
This is because it may lead to:
- A ‘lazy bowel’, where the muscle in the bowel becomes too relaxed. This means that bowel emptying happens less often. This can lead to long-term constipation
- Imbalance of fluids and salts in the body. This can affect the tightness of muscles such as those in the bowel. It can also affect the salts in the blood.
- Low levels of potassium in the blood (called hypokalaemia). This can make you tired, dizzy, make your muscles weak and cause an uneven heart-beat
- Dehydration, making you thirsty, feel faint and giving you headaches. It can also mean that you cannot pass enough urine
Do not take if you:
- Are allergic to any of the ingredients (listed above)
- Have blockage or narrowing of the gastro-intestinal tract or bowel (ileus, intestinal obstruction or stenosis)
- Have paralysis or a lack of muscle tone in the bowel (atony)
- Have appendicitis, inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Have severe dehydration
- Have persistent or undiagnosed abdominal complaints e.g. pain, nausea or vomiting
- Have faecal impaction or rectal bleeding for which you don’t know the cause, or blood in your stools
- Have already taken a laxative and are still constipated
- Have had a sudden change in bowel habit that has lasted for more than 2 weeks
- Have kidney or heart failure
Tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse if:
- You suffer from kidney disorders
- You are taking medicines for a heart condition, medicines inducing QT prolongation, diuretics, adrenocorticosteroids or liquorice root preparations
- You have been told you have an intolerance to some sugars because this medicine also contains lactose
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
This product is not recommended for use if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
If any of the following or other side effects occur, stop taking this medicine and consult a doctor or pharmacist:
- Abdominal pain, spasms and diarrhoea, in particular these effects may be experienced by patients with irritable colon. In these cases, a reduction in dose may be necessary
- Hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions, hives (skin bumps), skin itchiness or local or more widespread rash, or asthma
- Chronic use may lead to albuminuria and haematuria which is albumin or red blood cells in the urine
- Yellow or red-brown discolouration of urine may occur, which is harmless
- Chronic use may cause pigmentation of the gastrointestinal tract which usually recedes when the product is no longer taken. The frequency of these effects occurring is not known