senna (generic name)

Gentlax (brand name)

This medicine is used to relieve constipation
(SEN uh)
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What is this medicine?

SENNA (SEN uh) is a laxative. This medicine is used to relieve constipation. It may also be used to empty and prepare the bowel for surgery or examination.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions
  • appendicitis
  • stomach pain or blockage
  • vomiting
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to senna, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the label. Shake well before using. Use a specially marked spoon or container to measure your medicine. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. Take exactly as directed. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this medicine may be prescribed for children as young as 1 month for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Interactions are not expected. However, this medicine may affect the time other medicines stay in the stomach. It is best not to take this medicine within 1 to 2 hours of taking other medicines.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Do not use this medicine for longer than directed by your doctor or health care professional. This medicine can be habit-forming. Long-term use can make your body depend on the laxative for regular bowel movements, damage the bowel, cause malnutrition, and problems with the amounts of water and salts in your body. If your constipation keeps returning, check with your doctor or health care professional.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • diarrhea
  • muscle weakness
  • nausea, vomiting
  • unusual weight loss

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • bloating
  • discolored urine
  • lower stomach discomfort or cramps

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: August 19, 2009
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