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Senna Tablets

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Delivery and Packing
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You can pay for your order using credit, debit card and bank transfer.

Card Payment: Please notify us that you wish to cancel your order. Your refund will show available In 1 - 3 days.

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Treatment Information

Table of contents

What are Senna tablets?

Senna tablets (Sennosides) are a stimulant laxative, made from the leaves and fruit of the Senna plant. They are available over the counter from most pharmacies and some supermarkets, as well as from reputable online pharmacies such as Prescription Doctor.

Senna is commonly used to provide short-term relief from constipation in adults and can be prescribed by a doctor, purchased over the counter or you can buy Senna online.

Constipation is a fairly common condition and can occur for a range of reasons, including:

  • Dietary changes
  • Pregnancy
  • Lack of fluids
  • Lack of fibre
  • As a side effect to other medicines.

Before taking laxatives, such as Senna tablets, it's important to make appropriate adjustments to your diet or lifestyle first. For advice and information on how you can adjust your lifestyle to relive your constipation, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist.

If you suspect that your constipation is a result of a side effect to a specific medicine you are taking, it is very important to speak to your doctor. You should not stop taking medicines prescribed to you without explicit permission from your doctor.

Symptoms of constipation may include:

  • Fewer than normal bowel movements (usually less than 3 per week)
  • Hard, dry stools which are painful to pass
  • Inability or difficulty passing stools

If you have constipation and are unsure if Senna is safe for you, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist. They will be able to determine the most appropriate treatment for your constipation.

Buy Senna tablets online

If you can't get to your local pharmacy, you can buy Senna tablets online from Prescription Doctor's trusted UK pharmacy. Simply complete our online medical consultation for our medical team to review. If your order is approved before 3pm on weekdays, our GPhC registered pharmacy will dispatch your item the same day for a next day delivery.

All orders dispatched from our pharmacy are packaged in plain, tamper-proof packaging to ensure your privacy when buying medicine online.

How does Senna work?

Senna is classed as a stimulant laxative. When consumed, it interacts with the bacteria present in the intestines. The bacteria metabolise the senna into a substance called rheinanthrone.

This stimulates the nerve endings, prompting the muscles in the bowel to contract more regularly and more forcefully than usual. This increased action helps to move faeces along, leading to more regular bowel movements.

For patients struggling with uncomfortable constipation, Senna can provide effective short-term relief by allowing stool to pass and therefore reducing many of the unpleasant side effects of constipation. It is not designed for long-term use.

It typically takes Senna around 8 hours to take effect, and so is best taken before bedtime to allow for it to work overnight.

How do I take Senna tablets?

If you are new to taking Senna, it is recommended that you start by taking the lowest possible dose, which is 1 Senna tablet at bedtime with a glass of water. If necessary, you may increase this to the maximum dose of 2 Senna tablets at bedtime with a glass of water.

Senna tablets should be swallowed whole. Do not crush or chew the tablet.

You can take Senna tablets up to 3 times a week. The dosage should be reduced and stopped once your condition improves and your bowel movements become regular.

If constipation symptoms have not improved after 1-2 weeks, or you have not experienced a bowel movement within 3 days of taking Senna, contact your doctor.

Senna side effects and cautions

Before taking Senna tablets, it's important to read the patient information leaflet supplied with the medicine. This leaflet contains instructions on how to use and store Senna tablets, as well as important information regarding the safety of Senna, including known side effects and contraindications.

Alternatively, you can view the patient information leaflet for senna tablets online here.

Side effects

All medicines carry the risk of side effects, though not everyone who takes the medicine will get them. It's important to remain aware of the potential side effects throughout your course of treatment with Senna tablets.

Side effects of Senna may include:

  • Albuminuria
  • Diarrhoea
  • Electrolyte imbalance (low potassium levels - can lead to muscle weakness and/or cramps)
  • Fluid imbalance
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Haematuria (blood in urine)
  • Increase likeliness of infections
  • Melanosis coli (discolouration of the colon)
  • Skin reactions
  • Urine discolouration

This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. Further information regarding the safety of Senna tablets can be found inside the accompanying leaflet.

If you experience any side effects, regardless of whether they are listed above or in the patient information leaflet, inform your doctor right away.


Do not take Senna tablets if you are allergic to Senna or any of the other ingredients listed in the patient information leaflet.

If you experience the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction, stop taking senna tablets. Seek immediate medical attention by going to the A & E department of your nearest hospital. Remember to take the packaging and any remaining medicine with you so that doctors know exactly what you have taken.

Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Chest tightening
  • Dry, red and cracked skin
  • Itchy, red watery eyes
  • Raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, eyes or face
  • Tummy pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Wheezing

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or breastfeeding, speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking Senna tablets.

Other safety information

Always speak to your doctor before you buy Senna tablets online from Prescription Doctor.

Please inform our doctor of all medicine you are currently taking, including those prescribed by your doctor, or bought over the counter, as well as health and herbal supplements.

While taking any laxative, it's important to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water. You should aim to drink about 6 to 8 glasses of water throughout the day while taking Senna to prevent your body from becoming dehydrated.

Do not take Senna tablets past the expiry date printed on the packaging. The date refers to the last day of the specified month. For example, "EXP: 03/2025" refers to the 31st of March 2025.

Never throw away medicine via household or water waste as this can damage the environment. You should take any unwanted or expired medicine to your local pharmacy and ask them to dispose of it safely on your behalf.

Always store Senna tablets out of sight and reach from children or pets.

Never share your medicine with anybody else, even if they are experiencing the same symptoms or have the same condition as you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I forget to take Senna when I should?

If you miss a dose of Senna, take it when you remember. If your next dose is due at this time, you can skip the missed dose and take your next when it is due. Never take two doses together to make up for the one you have missed.

What should I do if I take too much Senna?

Taking more Senna that you should, could be harmful to your health. If you accidentally take more than the recommended amount of Senna tablets, you must seek urgent medical attention by going straight to the accident and emergency department of your nearest hospital.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Senna?

Yes, you can drink alcohol while taking Senna, however excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided as this can worsen your constipation.

Will Senna impact my ability to drive or operate machinery?

No, Senna should not have any impact on your ability to drive or operate machinery.

How long do Senna tablets take to work?

Senna tablets typically take between 8-12 hours to take effect. It is important to consume plenty of water regularly throughout the day while taking Senna to aid hydration.

How long can I take Senna tablets for?

Senna tablets can be consumed every day for up to 1 week. If you have not experienced a bowel movement after 3 days of taking Senna, or you are still experiencing constipation or worsened constipation after 1 week, you should contact your doctor right away or consult a pharmacist.

Where can I buy Senna tablets?

You can buy Senna tablets over the counter from most pharmacies. Or, if you are short on time, you can buy Senna tablets online from a reputable online pharmacy such as Prescription Doctor.

Will Senna tablet help me lose weight?

No, Senna tablets will not aid weight loss. Overusing or misusing laxatives poses a serious risk to your health, including the loss of potassium and sodium, and dehydration.

Table of contents

What are Senna tablets?

How does Senna work?

How do I take Senna tablets?

Senna side effects and cautions

Frequently asked questions


NHS, 2020. Constipation.

NHS, 2019. Laxatives

Treatment information

  • Product Name: Senna Tablets
  • Manufacturer: Various
  • Active Ingredient(s): Senna
  • Administration: Oral
  • Presentation: Tablets
  • Available Strength: 7.5mg
  • Exemption: GSL
  • Dosage: Take one or two tablets before bedtime with a glass of water.
  • Description: Senna tablets are a natural treatment for constipation.
  • Drug Class: Laxative
  • Alcohol Consumption: Limit alcohol consumption while treating constipation to prevent symptoms from worsening.
  • When Pregnant: Speak to your doctor if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant before taking Senna tablets.
  • When Breastfeeding: Speak to your doctor if you are breastfeeding before taking Senna tablets.
  • Price: 2.49 GBP

Authored & Reviewed By

Adil Bhaloda

Adil Bhaloda

Adil provides governance for the online services, overseeing prescription dispensation in line with UK pharmacy standards.

Published on: 02/12/2020 Reviewed on: 13/03/2024

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