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Senna

Senna is a medication that’s used to treat occasional bouts of constipation. It isn’t intended for long-term use, but is often effective at relieving temporary cases of the condition.

Constipation is a common problem, and whilst it’s often nothing to worry about, it can be uncomfortable and cause other problems if it doesn’t go away. Senna helps to stimulate the nerve endings in the colon and rectum, helping your stools through the passage and making it easier to pass them.

Senna comes from natural sources, and is extracted from the leaves and fruit of the Senna plant. It’s activated by the natural bacteria in your colon and takes around 8 hours to work. Most GPs recommend that if you’re suffering with constipation, you should take your Senna tablets before you go to bed to give the medication time to work overnight.

Symptoms of constipation should be relieved within 3 days, but if you’re still experiencing dry, painful stools or are emptying your bowels less frequently after this time, please visit your GP or ask your local pharmacist about the other options that might be available to you.

Patient Information Leaflet Updated on: 14/01/2020

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See Senna Patient Information Leaflet

£ 4.49 InStock
Please note a final decision on a suitable medicine for your condition will be made by our prescriber once you have completed a consultation PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ANSWER SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR SYMPTOMS
Please note all the answers are reviewed by a doctor to assess eligibility
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  • Cardiac glycosides
  • Anti-arrythmic medications
  • Medicines which may alter your heart beat
  • Diuretics
  • Corticosteroids
  • Liquorice root
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Please use a minimum of 1 words.

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  • Blockage or narrowing of the gastro-intestinal tract or bowel
  • Paralysis or a lack of muscle tone in the bowel
  • Appendicitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's or colitis
  • Persistent undiagosed stomach symptoms
  • Kidney or heart problems
  • Severe dehydration
  • Faecal impaction
  • Unexplained rectal bleeding
  • Already taken a laxative but still struggling with constipation
  • Sudden change in bowel habits that have lasted for more than 2 weeks
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Please use a minimum of 1 words.

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  • You shouldn't need to use a laxative every day. If you find that you are, you should speak to your GP about your symptoms
  • You shouldn't take sennoside for more than a week without advice from your GP
  • You should always read the patient information leaflet fully before taking any medication.
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  • You have an allergy or hypersensitivity to sennoside
  • You've used this treatment before and suffered from serious side effects
  • You're already using a medicine containing sennoside for something other than regular constipation
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Dr. Daniel Cichi GMC No. 6163403

Dr Daniel Cichi has 20 years experience as a doctor and now he is a senior GP. He worked in A&E departments, GP surgeries and on cruise ships.

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Shamir is a well-respected pharmacist with extensive experience running online pharmacies in the UK.

What is Senna?

Senna is a natural laxative that’s used to treat occasional bouts of constipation. It can be prescribed, bought from a pharmacy, and is even available in some supermarkets.

Senna tablets are derived from the leaves and fruit of the Senna plant, being activated by the natural bacteria in your colon. It helps to stimulate the nerves in the colon and rectum, encouraging the muscles to contract more frequently, pushing the hard stools further towards the opening of the anus and making it easier to pass stools.

How do I know if I’m constipated?

The main symptoms of constipation include:

  • Passing stools less frequently
  • Stools that are hard and painful to pass

Most cases of constipation aren’t anything to worry about and should be resolved in around 3 days with medication and dietary changes.

There may be other conditions that mimic the symptoms of constipation, so if your bowel habits have changed suddenly and lasted over two weeks you should visit your GP who will refer you for tests to check for other conditions.

If you experience constipation frequently, and it’s accompanied by either diarrhoea, stomach cramps or both, you might be suffering with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In this case, there are other medicines available to help this condition and your doctor should advise which is best for you.

If you know you’re just constipated, you should be able to safely use Senna after following the advice on this page and in the patient information leaflet.

Can I take Senna?

Even though Senna comes from a plant, it can be harmful in certain circumstances. There are some people that should avoid the medication or speak to their GP before considering trying it. Although some branded versions of Senna are available in supermarkets, you should still take caution before using it. Those that should take extra care include those with:

  • An allergy to Senna or any ingredients
  • A blockage of the gastrointestinal tract or bowel
  • Paralysis or lack of muscle tone in the bowel
  • Appendicitis
  • An inflammatory bowel disease
  • Severe dehydration
  • Abdominal trouble such as nausea and vomiting that’s persistent or undiagnosed
  • Faecal impaction
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Already taken a laxative that hasn’t worked
  • A sudden change of bowel habits
  • Kidney or heart failure
  • A heart condition that you’re taking medication for

If any of the above conditions apply to you, we advise that you seek advice from your GP or local pharmacist before trying Senna as a treatment for constipation.

How long can I take Senna for?

You should generally only take Senna for a week. Your symptoms should subside within 3 days whilst using it, but if they don’t, you should see your own doctor for advice as there may be more suitable treatments available for you.

Taking Senna for longer than advised might cause damage to your body, including:

  • Lazy bowel
  • Imbalance of fluids and salts
  • Low levels of potassium
  • Dehydration

How do you take Senna?

Senna can be taken with or without food, but should always be swallowed whole with water. Depending on your symptoms and how bad your constipation is, you can take 1 or two tablets per day.

Most people find that taking the medication 2-3 times a week relieves them of their temporary constipation.

Senna side effects

Senna can cause several side effects due to the way it works in your body. Many people are unaffected by the medication, but others might experience symptoms associated with using it. Some of the most commonly reported side effects are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal spasms
  • Diarrhoea
  • Allergic reactions
  • Being more prone to infections
  • Red blood cells in urine
  • Discoloured urine (harmless)
  • Low potassium levels (causing muscle weakness, cramps and severe weight loss)
  • Changes in shape of the finger and fingernail
  • Inflamed bones and joints.

You may experience more side effects if you take Senna whilst not constipated, or take it more often than you should. You should only ever take a medication if it’s right for you.

How can I ease constipation?

There are things you can do at home as well as taking Senna to relieve your constipation. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids when you’re finding it difficult to poo. This helps your body to retain fluid and may make your stools softer and easier to pass.

Eating more fibre can also help with hard, dry stools. You can find fibre in most fruits, vegetables, and some cereals such as Weetabix.

What other treatments are available for constipation?

There are several types of medications that can be used to treat constipation, including:

  • Bulk-forming laxatives. These help the stools to retain fluid
  • Osmotic laxatives. These soften the stools and increase the amount of water in the bowels.
  • Stool softener laxatives. These help to increase the fluid content of hard, dry stools.

The NHS generally advises that you should try bulk-forming laxatives before any other treatments, but if you’ve found that Senna has worked for you in the past, it should be safe to use as a first-line treatment for constipation. However, some laxatives will be more suitable than others depending on the type of constipation you have.

Buy Senna

You can buy senna from some supermarkets, pharmacies, and now online. If you buy Senna from Doctor4U, you can order up to 100 tablets, which is ideal for those with conditions such as IBS if management with Senna has been advised.

When you buy Senna from Doctor4U, you can rest assured that you’ll receive the same level of care and confidentiality that you would from your own GP.

All orders are shipped in plain packaging to avoid anyone - even the postal carrier - knowing what’s inside.

Dosage Instructions
ONE to TWO tablets at night. The tablets should be taken with a glass of water.
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Senna Dosage Quantity Cost Including Consultation
Senna 7.5mg 100 tablets £4.49

Delivery Charges

The following delivery methods are currently available within the UK: All orders are sent in discreet, plain packaging.

UK Standard Delivery, £1.99

Order before 12pm to have your order delivered using Royal Mail Tracked 48 Service

standard UK delivery within 3-5 working days

Additional terms and conditions apply.

UK Express Delivery, £2.99

Order before 12pm to have your order delivered using the Express delivery service* (deliveries are made Monday - Saturday)

If you order after 12pm, your order will be dispatched the next working day and will be with you within 48 hours once dispatched. This excludes weekends and bank holidays

Additional terms and conditions apply.

Royal Mail Special Delivery Next Day Anytime, £4.99 (This service includes Saturday)

Order before 12pm to have your order delivered using Royal Mail Special Delivery Service, which includes Saturday deliveries.

Additional terms and conditions apply.

Royal Mail Special Delivery Next Day Before 1pm, £7.99 (This service includes Saturday)

Order before 12pm to have your order delivered before 1pm next day using Royal Mail Special Delivery service, this also includes Saturday deliveries.

Additional terms and conditions apply.

Royal Mail Special Delivery Next Day Before 9am, £14.99 (This service includes Saturday)

Order before 12pm to have your order delivered before 9am next day using Royal Mail Special Delivery service, this also includes Saturday deliveries.

Additional terms and conditions apply.

DPD Next Day Delivery, £4.99 (Monday - Friday only. This service does not include Saturday)

Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered the following working day

If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

Additional terms and conditions apply.

DPD Next Day Delivery, by 12 Noon, £9.99 (Monday - Friday only. This service does not include Saturday)

Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered by 12 noon the following working day

If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

Additional terms and conditions apply.

DPD Next Day Delivery, by 10:30am, £14.99  (Monday - Friday only. This service does not include Saturday)

Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered by 10:30am the following working day

If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

Additional terms and conditions apply.

DPD Saturday Delivery, £14.99

Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered the following Saturday

If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

Additional terms and conditions apply

DPD Saturday Delivery, by 12:00am, £21.99

Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered by 12:00am Saturday

If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

Additional terms and conditions apply.

DPD Saturday Delivery, by 10:30am, £29.99

Orders signed by the doctor before 12 noon the day before will be delivered by 10:30am Saturday

If your order is signed by the doctor after 12 noon, your order will be delivered within 2 working days

Additional terms and conditions apply, please see below.

US and outside the UK

Unfortunately, we can't process orders from outside the UK at this time.


Terms and Conditions

Delivery options exclude Bank Holidays, public holidays and Sundays.All deliveries are subject to Doctor-4-u successfully receiving payment and prescription being approved by the doctor.

All purchases require additional approval, which will involve completion of an online questionnaire and any subsequent approval.

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