What is senna?

The leaves, flowers, and fruits of the senna plant are called senna

(senna leaves from the plants of Mecca area are called senna Makki)


Uses of senna

Senna is most often used as a laxative, for constipation.


in some cases, to help with weight loss.


The most common doses are:

• Children: 8.5 milligrams (mg) per day to cause a single bowel movement

• Children over 12 and adults: 17.2 mg per day, with no more than 34.4 mg each day

• Older adults: 17 mg per day

• Postpartum pregnancy: 28 mg per day, divided into two doses

It is not recommended to use senna for longer than 2 weeks at a time.



Risks

There have been some case reports of people suffering from

liver damage, coma or nerve damage after using senna.


In these cases, people were using senna at much higher than the recommended doses and for more extended periods of time.

People with certain medical conditions should not use senna, including:

• intestinal obstruction

• ulcerative colitis

• Crohn’s disease

• appendicitis

• dehydration

• diarrhea

• heart disease

Also, anyone with abdominal pain or children under the age of 2 years should not use senna.



Pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers

Senna may not be safe for use during pregnancy


Senna appears to be safe for women who are breast-feeding when used in the recommended amount.


Side effects

They can include:

• diarrhea

• cramping

• fluid loss

• abdominal pain

• electrolyte disturbances

• feeling faint

Long-term use of senna can cause dependence in order to have a bowel movement, finger clubbing (usually reversible), rectal bleeding, and wasting.


It is essential to drink plenty of fluids or electrolyte replacement solutions, such as Gatorade when taking senna. This is to prevent a person from losing too much fluid or electrolytes, especially if they have diarrhea.

To deal with cramping or abdominal pain, people can reduce the dose until the discomfort subsides.


What are the drug interactions?

People taking the following medications or herbal supplements should avoid taking senna


• Contraceptives:

• Digoxin: Senna can cause electrolyte imbalances in the body, especially in potassium levels. Low potassium can cause problems for someone taking digoxin.

• Warfarin:

• Diuretics: Taking these two medications together can cause potassium levels to drop to dangerous levels

• Estrogen

• Horsetail:

• Licorice: Licorice also lowers potassium levels;


Takeaway

Senna is generally well tolerated and thought to be safe for most people. However, it does have the potential to cause serious complications in some people with certain health conditions and who take certain medications.