Senna S vs Senna

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For patients struggling with constipation or bowel irregularity, certain natural remedies that stimulate the muscles in your gut can help regulate bowel movements and alleviate discomfort. Senna and Senna S are two such treatments often recommended for temporary relief of constipation. They both contain sennosides which irritate the lining of the bowel causing a laxative effect. However, their formulation differs slightly to cater to specific needs.

Senna is purely plant-based and acts as a non-prescription herbal supplement aiding in regularizing stools by increasing intestinal motility. On the other hand, Senna-S includes docusate sodium along with sennosides making it more effective for those suffering from harder stools as it not only increases intestine movement but also softens stools allowing easier passage. Always remember that overuse or long-term use of any laxatives including these can cause dependence for bowel function so they should be used carefully under guidance.

What is Senna S?

Senna S and Senna are both classified as stimulant laxatives, associated with treating constipation. They marked a significant development in the field of over-the-counter solutions for digestive issues. Both were approved by the FDA due to their effectiveness at increasing activity within the intestines, effectively encouraging bowel movements more quickly than usual. They are predominantly used for short-term treatment of acute constipation or to clear out the bowels before medical procedures.

Senna is primarily composed of sennosides, which work on your intestinal lining to cause a laxative effect by decreasing water absorption and increasing secretion in your intestines. On the other hand, Senna S contains an additional component named Docusate Sodium along with sennosides. Docusate is a stool softener that helps lower surface tension on feces allowing more water and fats to penetrate them leading towards easier excretion.

While both have similar effects, their influence varies slightly; resulting in different side effects profile based upon individual response variability. While generally well-tolerated, some people may experience abdominal discomfort or cramping when using these products.

What conditions is Senna S approved to treat?

Senna S is approved for the treatment of various conditions related to bowel movements, including:

  • Occasional constipation
  • Bowel preparation before medical procedures such as colonoscopy
  • Constipation caused by certain medications or conditions

On the other hand, Senna is used primarily for temporary relief from occasional constipation.

How does Senna S help with these illnesses?

Senna S works to alleviate constipation by stimulating bowel movements. It does this by causing contractions in the intestines, which helps move stool through the digestive system more easily. Senna is a natural laxative that acts on nerve endings in the gut wall to stimulate these contractions. This action plays an important role in digestion and elimination, amongst other things.

For individuals who are regularly constipated or have difficulty with regular bowel movement due to certain medical conditions or medications they may be taking, increasing intestinal motility can help manage their condition and stabilize their bodily functions.

Senna S stands out from plain senna as it also contains docusate sodium, a stool softener. Docusate sodium makes stools softer and easier to pass, complementing the stimulant action of senna for even better results in relieving constipation.

What is Senna?

Senna, a natural medicine derived from the senna plant, is an over-the-counter herbal laxative that increases activity of the intestines to help produce a bowel movement. It works by irritating the lining of the bowels and stimulating muscle contraction in the intestines. Senna has been used for centuries in traditional medicines around the world, and it was approved by FDA as nonprescription drugs in 1999.

While Senna is usually well-tolerated when used short-term (up to one week), long term use can lead to dependency and loss of normal bowel function. Its side effects profile may also include stomach discomfort, cramps or diarrhea. As opposed to this, Senna-S is a combination product that includes both senna and docusate sodium - designed to soften stools while providing stimulant laxative effect which might be useful for individuals with harder stool consistency but carries similar risk profiles.

The active components in senna are beneficial for treating occasional constipation, especially in patients who do not respond well with other conventional laxatives.

What conditions is Senna approved to treat?

Senna is a natural herb that is approved for the treatment of constipation. It's widely recognized and used because of its effective laxative properties. Specifically, Senna can be used to treat:

  • Occasional constipation
  • Constipation related to certain medical conditions or medications
  • Preparation for colonoscopy or other bowel procedures

How does Senna help with these illnesses?

Senna is a natural plant extract that has been used for centuries as a laxative. It works by irritating the lining of the bowel, which triggers a contraction that pushes stool through your system. As with other stimulant laxatives, ample hydration is necessary when taking senna to prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

Although Senna S also contains senna extract, it includes an additional component called docusate sodium, a stool softener designed to help make bowel movements easier. However, pure senna can also be very effective in relieving occasional constipation on its own. Its action on peristalsis may play roles in its effectiveness as a laxative. Since it does not significantly affect water absorption in the large intestine - unlike osmotic laxatives such as lactulose or polyethylene glycol - it is often prescribed when patients do not respond well to these types of treatments or if they prefer natural options.

How effective are both Senna S and Senna?

Both Senna and Senna-S are reliable over-the-counter treatments for constipation, primarily used as short-term remedies. They both work by irritating the lining of the bowel to cause a laxative effect, helping your digestive system move stools through your body.

Senna is a natural medicine containing only sennosides which act on the lower bowels to stimulate peristalsis (the muscular activity of the colon leading to elimination). It's typically administered alone when purely dealing with constipation issues. On the other hand, Senna-S combines sennosides with docusate sodium, a stool softener that can help make bowel movements more comfortable for people who have hemorrhoids or anal fissures.

A study in 2004 found that both substances were effective in managing symptoms related to constipation but noted that patients taking combination therapy such as Senna-S reported less straining during defecation and overall greater satisfaction than those using just one form of treatment like pure senna.

While both medications can be effective in treating occasional bouts of constipation, it should be noted they're not intended for long-term use without physician supervision due to potential side effects such as electrolyte imbalance or dependency. The optimal dose varies depending on individual needs; therefore consulting healthcare professionals before usage is advised.

Similarities aside, Senna-S may offer additional relief from discomfort associated with hard stools due its dual action combining laxative and stool softening properties thus might be preferred choice in those specific cases.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Senna S typically prescribed?

Oral dosages of Senna range from 17.2 mg to 34.4 mg once daily and should not exceed the maximum dosage of 68.8 mg/day in adults and children over 12 years old, for treating constipation. For children between ages of 6-11, a lower dose starting at around half the adult amount (8.5mg -17.2mg) is recommended initially but can be increased if there's no response; however, it should not exceed more than two doses per day (34.4 mg). On the other hand, Senna-S has a combination ingredient and its oral dosages range from one to two tablets taken orally once daily at bedtime for adults and children over six years old; Dosage can be adjusted based on individual patient response but should not be exceeded as recommended by the doctor or product insert.

At what dose is Senna typically prescribed?

Senna treatment typically begins at a dosage of 17.2 mg per day. This dose can then be increased to 34.4 mg/day, divided into two doses and spaced 12 hours apart. The maximum recommended dose is 68.8 mg/day, which can be taken in three doses of around 23 mg each and must be spread out by approximately eight hours between each dose if there is no response to the initial treatment after a few days. It's worth noting that these dosages are for adults and children over twelve years old; younger children should have their dosage determined by a healthcare provider based on weight and age.

What are the most common side effects for Senna S?

Common side effects of Senna S compared to standard Senna may include:

  • Abdominal discomfort or cramping
  • Diarrhea, potentially leading to dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • Pigmentation in the colon known as melanosis coli after long-term use
  • Electrolyte imbalance including low potassium levels (hypokalemia)

It's critical to note that while both are used for constipation relief, due to additional laxative ingredients in Senna-S, it could result in more pronounced side effects. As with any medication, if these symptoms persist or worsen, consult your healthcare provider promptly.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Senna S?

Even though both Senna and Senna-S are generally considered safe for short-term use, they may cause some side effects. In rare cases, severe side effects can occur such as:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat.
  • Severe stomach pain or cramping
  • Diarrhea that is watery or bloody
  • Unusual weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Discoloration of urine (dark color) or stools (turning a clay-like color)
  • Dehydration symptoms - feeling very thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, heavy sweating, hot and dry skin.

If you experience any of the above side effects while taking either Senna-S or regular Senna laxatives stop using them immediately and consult your doctor. Long term use can lead to dependency on the laxative effect so it's always important to follow dosage instructions carefully.

What are the most common side effects for Senna?

Senna, as a natural laxative, may present with side effects such as:

  • Stomach discomfort or cramping
  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite due to frequent bowel movements
  • Increased urination due to increased water intake for hydration
  • Dehydration symptoms like dizziness and headache if not adequately hydrated Although these potential side effects can occur, they are generally rare when Senna is taken at the recommended dosage.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Senna?

Senna, though generally well-tolerated, can trigger a few side effects in rare circumstances. These could potentially include:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea and potential dehydration symptoms like dizziness, dry mouth/throat/lips, feeling faint
  • Discoloration of urine to a reddish-brown (which is generally harmless)

If any of these symptoms are persistent or severe it's recommended to seek immediate medical attention.

Contraindications for Senna S and Senna?

Both Senna and Senna-S, like most other laxatives, may worsen symptoms of stomach discomfort in some individuals. If you notice your abdominal pain intensifying or an increase in severe constipation following the use of these products, please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Senna nor Senna-S should be used if you are taking certain medications including anticoagulants (blood thinners), diuretics (water pills) or corticosteroids as it can alter their efficacy or lead to unwarranted side effects. Always inform your healthcare provider about any medications you are currently on; this is crucial for preventing potential drug interactions with either Senna or Senna-S.

In addition to this, using either formulation over a long period could cause changes in electrolyte balance which might require a few weeks to stabilize again. Therefore, prolonged usage without medical supervision isn't recommended.

How much do Senna S and Senna cost?

For the brand-name versions of these drugs:

  • The price for 60 tablets of Senokot (a common brand name for Senna) averages around $20, which works out to about $0.30 per day if you take two tablets daily.
  • A box of 60 tablets of Peri-Colace (a common brand name version combining Senna and a stool softener, similar to “Senna S”) costs approximately $25, working out to roughly $0.40 per day.

Thus, if your dosage is higher or includes a stool softener as in Peri-Colace (also known as "Senna-S"), then this becomes slightly more expensive on a per-day treatment basis than standard senna alone.

However, it's important to note that cost should not be the primary factor when deciding between these medications; instead consider their effectiveness and whether additional features like a stool softener are necessary for your personal needs.

In terms of generic versions:

  • Generic senna can be purchased at prices ranging from about $5-$10 for 100 tablets depending on where you buy them from. If taking two tablets daily according to typical dosages, this equates roughly between $0.10 - $0.20 per day.

  • Generic sennosides with docusate sodium ("sennosides-DSS", essentially equivalent to 'Senna-S') comes in packs usually containing 60 or more capsules/tablets starting at around the same range ($6-$12), but may reach up until $.30/day due its usual recommended dose being slightly higher compared to regular Senna without DSS included.

Remember that individual responses vary greatly among patients so always consult with your healthcare provider before making any decisions regarding medication use based purely off cost comparisons!

Popularity of Senna S and Senna

Senna, a natural medicine used to treat constipation, was estimated to have been prescribed or sold over the counter in its various forms to millions of people in the US. Senna accounted for a significant proportion of laxative use and is considered a first-line therapy for occasional constipation due to its safety profile and effectiveness.

Senna-S is a combination product that includes both senna and docusate sodium. Docusate is often added as it's a stool softener which can make bowel movements less painful if you're suffering from hard stools or haemorrhoids. The usage of Senna-S has also seen considerable prevalence given its dual-action mechanism providing relief from constipation.

It's important to note here that while both Senna and Senna-S are commonly used treatments for short-term relief from constipation, they should not be used long term without medical supervision due their potential side effects such as electrolyte imbalance or dependence.


Both Senna S and Senna have a long-standing history of usage in managing constipation. They act as stimulant laxatives, working by increasing the muscle contractions that move along the stool mass through the bowel. Both are considered effective alternatives to placebo treatments for short-term relief from occasional constipation.

Senna S differs from plain senna in that it combines sennosides (the active ingredient derived from senna leaves) with docusate sodium, a stool softener. This combination is designed to make bowel movements softer and easier to pass, while also stimulating increased gut motility.

As they work differently on relieving constipation symptoms – with Senna primarily promoting bowel movement frequency and regularity, whereas Senna-S aiming additionally at reducing fecal hardness - their use would be indicated under different circumstances.

Both drugs are available over-the-counter which represents significant convenience for patients who need immediate relief from discomfort due to constipation. However, both medications may require an adjustment period before noticeable effects occur since they might take 6-12 hours or more to produce a bowel movement after ingestion.

The side effect profile between these two medication options is similar; abdominal cramps or discomfort may happen but usually resolve quickly. Long-term usage can potentially lead to dependency or changes in electrolyte balance so should not be undertaken without medical supervision. Patients must closely monitor their responses when starting treatment and should seek medical help if severe stomach pain occurs or if there's no bowel movement within 48 hours of use.