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Treatment Information

Table of contents

Patient Reviews: How Senokot Has Made a Difference

What is Senokot?

Senokot is a stimulant laxative containing Senna (Sennosides), for the short-term relief of constipation in adults.

Constipation is fairly common, causing unpleasant symptoms such as a difficulty passing regular bowel movements, accompanied by hard, dry stools which can cause pain when passing.

Constipation can come on without cause or can be associated with other factors such as a sudden change in diet, lack of fluids, lack of exercise or other medications. Women, especially during pregnancy, and the elderly are at an increased risk of constipation.

Before taking any laxative, you should try making adjustments to your diet and lifestyle first. If your constipation persists in spite of these changes, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist for advice on which treatments are suitable for you.

Your doctor or a pharmacist can inform you on which constipation relief is suitable for you based on your condition and medical history. They can also advise on how to take the treatment to relieve your symptoms.

Senokot is derived from natural Senna plant, and can be bought over the counter from your local pharmacist, prescribed by your doctor or you can buy Senokot online from a reputable provider such as Prescription Doctor.

How does Senokot work?

Senokot works by stimulating the nerve endings found in the intestines, encouraging an increase in the frequency and force of muscle contractions. It is these contractions which help move faeces down through the bowels, preventing water from being absorbed through the intestinal lining, and encouraging an increase in bowel movements.

For occasional use only, Senokot can be an effective way of reducing the unpleasant side effects associated with constipation and can aid a more regular pattern of bowel movements.

Senokot contains sennosides which - once consumed - are activated by the bacteria present in the colon. Senokot will not start working until it reaches this part of the gut.

For this reason, Senokot typically takes around 8-12 hours to take effect.

How do I take Senokot?

New users should start with the smallest dose of Senokot, which is 1 tablet to be taken before bedtime with a glass of water.

If necessary, you may increase the dosage to the maximum dose of 2 tablets before bed.

You should swallow Senokot tablets whole with a glass of water. Senokot tablets should not be crushed or chewed.

Senokot should not be taken more than 3 times in a week.

As soon as improvements are seen, you should decrease your dose of Senokot gradually, coming to a stop once your bowel movements return to normal.

Senokot side effects and cautions

Before you start taking Senokot for constipation, it's important to familiarise yourself with the information detailed in the accompanying patient information leaflet. This leaflet contains instructions on how to use and store Senokot tablets, as well as important information regarding the safety of Senokot, such as known side effects and contraindications.

You can also view the patient information leaflet for Senokot online here.

If you have any doubts about any of the information printed in the leaflet, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist for advice.

Who should not take Senokot?

Senokot is not suitable for everyone. Before taking Senokot for the first time, you should speak to your doctor to determine that it is safe for you.

Do not take Senokot if you:

  • are allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the patient information leaflet
  • have paralysis or a lack of muscle tone in the bowel
  • have appendicitis, inflammatory bowel disease such as Chrohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • have severe dehydration
  • have persistent or undiagnosed abdominal complains
  • have faecal impaction or rectal bleeding for which you don't know the cause, or blood in your stools
  • have already taken a laxative and are still constipated
  • have a sudden change in bowel habit that has lasted for more than 2 weeks
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • have kidney or heart failure

If you are unsure whether Senokot is safe for you to take, speak to your doctor.

Side effects of Senokot

All medicines carry the risk of side effects, though not everybody who takes Senokot experiences them.

While taking Senokot for constipation, it is important to remain vigilant of any side effects associated with taking it.

Side effects of Senokot 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 Senokot can be found within the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medicine.

If you experience any side effects, regardless of whether they are listed above or in the patient information leaflet, report them to your doctor or ask a pharmacy for assistance.


Do not take Senokot if you are allergic to senna or any of the other ingredients listed in the patient information leaflet supplied with your medicine.

If you experience the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction to Senokot, stop taking Senokot immediately. Go straight to the accident and emergency department of your nearest hospital. Remember to take the packaging and any remaining medicine with you so that doctors treating you know exactly what you have taken.

Signs of an allergic reaction may 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 before taking Senokot.

Other safety information

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

Please inform our doctor of all medicines 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 around 6 to 8 glasses of water.

Do not take Senokot past the expiry date printed on the packaging. The date refers to the last day of the specified month.

Never throw away medicine via household or water waste as it 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 Senokot tablets out of sight and reach from children and 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 Senokot when I should?

If you have forgotten to take a dose of Senokot, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for you to take the next dose, skip the one that you have missed. It is important to never take more Senokot to make up for the dose you missed.

What should I do if I take too much Senokot?

Taking too much Senokot could cause harmful side effects. It is advised that you seek the advice of a medical professional immediately, if you have taken more Senokot than is recommended.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Senokot?

Alcohol is unlikely to interact with Senokot. However, it is not advisable to drink alcohol while treating constipation. Excessive alcohol consumption could make your constipation worse.

Will Senokot impact my ability to drive or operate machinery?

No, Senokot should not impact your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.

How long does Senokot take to work?

Typically, you should start seeing the effects of Senokot after 8 hours.

How long should I take Senokot for?

Senokot is only for short-term use, and should not be consumed for longer than 1 week. If constipation has not improved after 1 week, consult your doctor or a pharmacist before continuing use of Senokot.

Does Senokot cause weight loss?

No, Senokot does not cause weight loss. Senokot does not reduce the absorption of calories or nutrients, and should not be used as a weight-loss aid.

Table of contents

What is Senokot?

How does Senokot work?

How do I take Senokot?

Senokot side effects and cautions

Frequently asked questions


NHS, 2020. Constipation.

NHS, 2019. Laxatives

Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare (UK) Ltd, 2020. Senokot 7.5mg Tablets: Summary of Product Characteristics

Treatment information

  • Product Name: Senokot
  • Manufacturer: Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare
  • Active Ingredient(s): Senna
  • Administration: Oral
  • Presentation: Tablets
  • Available Strength: 7.5mg
  • Exemption: GSL
  • Dosage: Take one to two tablets at bedtime with a drink of water.
  • Description: Senokot are a natural laxative which helps to relieve constipation.
  • Drug Class: Laxative
  • Alcohol Consumption: Limit alcohol consumption while constipated to prevent worsening your condition
  • When Pregnant: Speak to your doctor if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant before taking Senokot.
  • When Breastfeeding: Speak to your doctor if you are breastfeeding before taking Senokot.
  • Price: 2.49 GBP
Click here to view the Senokot - Patient Information Leaflet

Authored & Reviewed By

Mohamed Imran Lakhi

Mohamed Imran Lakhi

MPharm - Lead Pharmacist
Imran Lakhi is the superintendent pharmacist and founder at Prescription Doctor. He has been at the core of our team.

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

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