|Trade names||Ex-Lax, Senokot, and others|
|By mouth (PO), rectal (PR)|
|Onset of action||Minutes (PR), 6 to 12 hours (PO)|
|ATC code||A06AB06 (WHO)|
|(what is this?)|
Senna glycoside, also known as sennoside or senna, is a medication used to treat constipation and empty the large intestine before surgery. The medication is taken by mouth or via the rectum. It typically begins working in minutes when given by rectum and within twelve hours when given by mouth. It is a weaker laxative than bisacodyl or castor oil.
Common side effects of senna glycoside include abdominal cramps. It is not recommended for long term use as it may result in poor bowel function or electrolyte problems. While no harms have been found for use while breastfeeding, such use is not typically recommended. It is not typically recommended in children. May change urine to a somewhat reddish color. Senna derivatives are a type of stimulant laxative and are of the anthraquinone type. While its mechanism of action is not entirely clear, senna is thought to act by increasing fluid secretion within and contraction of the large intestine.
It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system. It is available as a generic medication and is relatively cheap. The wholesale cost in the developing world is about 0.01 USD per pill. Sennosides come from the group of plants Senna. In plant form it has been used at least since the 700s CE.
According to Commission E, the German equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, senna is contraindicated in cases of intestinal obstruction, acute intestinal inflammation (e.g., Crohn's disease), ulcerative colitis, appendicitis, and abdominal pain of unknown origin.
Senna is considered contraindicated in people with a documented allergy to anthraquinones. Such allergies are rare and typically limited to dermatological reactions of redness and itching.
Adverse effects are typically limited to gastrointestinal reactions and include abdominal pain or cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Regular use of senna products can lead to a characteristic brown pigmentation of the internal colonic wall seen on colonoscopy. This abnormal pigmentation is known as melanosis coli.
Mechanism of action
The breakdown products of senna act directly as irritants on the colonic wall to induce fluid secretion and colonic motility.
Society and culture
Senna is an over-the-counter medication available in multiple formulations, including oral formations (liquid, tablet, granular) and rectal suppositories. Senna products are manufactured by multiple generic drug makers as various brand names.
Ex-Lax Maximum Strength, Ex-Lax, Geri-kot, GoodSense Senna Laxative, Natural Senna Laxative, Perdiem Overnight Relief, Senexon, Senna Lax, Senna Laxative, Senna Maximum Strength, Pursennid, Senna Smooth, Senna-Gen, Senna-GRX, Senna-Lax, Senna-Tabs, Senna-Time, SennaCon, Senno, Senokot To Go, Senokot XTRA, Senokot, Kayam churna.
- American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (January 1, 2008). "Senna". Drugs.com. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
- Hamilton, Richard J. (2010). Tarascon pharmacopoeia (2010 ed.). Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett. p. 181. ISBN 9780763777685.
- "19th WHO Model List of Essential Medicines" (PDF). World Health Organization. April 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
- "Senna". International Drug Price Indicator Guide. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
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- Lexicomp Online, Lexi Drugs Online, Hudson, Ohio: Lexi-Comp, Inc.; April 17, 2014.
- Drugs.com http://www.drugs.com/ppa/senna.html
- Lexicomp Lexicomp Online, Lexi Drugs Online, Hudson, Ohio: Lexi-Comp, Inc.; April 17, 2014.
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- Sharkey KA, Wallace JL. Chapter 46. Treatment of Disorders of Bowel Motility and Water Flux; Anti-Emetics; Agents Used in Biliary and Pancreatic Disease. In: Brunton LL, Chabner BA, Knollmann BC. eds. Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 12e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2011. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=374&Sectionid=41266256. Accessed April 18, 2014.