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The Story of Senokot Products

Last updated on May 19th, 2023

What is a Natural Vegetable Laxative?

Senna has been been used for centuries to help treat constipation. Crude senna is derived from Cassia acutifolia or Cassia angustifolia plants, commonly called senna plants. Today, you can find senna (containing laxatives called sennosides) as an active ingredient in all Senokot® Laxatives.

The sennosides in Senokot Laxatives are standardized using a process which was pioneered by The Purdue Frederick Company. Standardization means that modern scientific techniques were applied to ensure the same amount of sennosides in each type of Senokot Laxative in every bottle, every time. Senna standardization assures consistent potency and, thus, predictability.

Centuries of Use

The use of senna as a laxative seems to have originated in Egypt more than 3,500 years ago. In fact, references to its use go back to the days of the pharaohs and it is mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus, which documents medicines used to treat Egyptian royalty.

Not until the 1940’s were methods found for biological and chemical assay of the components of the Cassia acutifolia or Cassia angustifolia plants, as well as the means to process the senna plant to produce standardized senna concentrate.

The standardized senna in Senokot Laxatives is the product of these assay techniques. Ever since the standardization of this vegetable derivative more than fifty years ago, Senokot Laxatives have been used clinically worldwide.

How Senokot® Laxatives work

The standardized senna in Senokot Laxatives is arrived at by an exacting process.

First, the seed pods of the senna plant are picked at maturity.

Then, the seeds, stems and leaves are removed and only the pods, which contain no harsh impurities, are ground to a fine powder.

Next, the senna powder is standardized to assure consistent potency, and a high degree of predictability and reliability for each type of Senokot Laxative. In other words, each type of Senokot Laxative contains the same amount of sennosides, also known as senna glycosides.

The current understanding of how senna works suggests that when a person takes Senokot Tablets or Senokot Syrup the senna glycosides are transported to the intestinal colon. Here they are transformed into aglycones by the enzymes normally found in the colon.

Within the colon, senna aglycones stimulate a nerve network called Auerbach’s plexus. This action sets off a series of wave-like contractions called peristalsis, resulting in a comfortable bowel movement.


Why Use Senokot® Products

When constipation is a concern, Senokot Natural Vegetable Laxatives can provide comfortable, overnight relief when taken at bedtime. While bulk-forming laxatives may take days to work, Senokot Laxatives usually work overnight so you can wake up to relief in the morning. Unlike some laxatives which can be harsh, Senokot Laxatives provide gentle, comfortable relief.

When hard, dry stools are a problem, consider taking Senokot-S® Tablets – a natural vegetable laxative with the stool softener, docusate sodium. The stool softener lowers the surface tension of dry fecal matter, facilitating water penetration thereby softening the stool. The combination of the standardized senna concentrate with docusate sodium softens the stool while gently stimulating movement.

The Senokot® Laxatives Comfort Promise

Senokot Laxatives use only the deseeded pod of the senna plant which contains no harsh impurities (no stems, leaves or seeds) which can cause intestinal distress. For your comfort, the active ingredient in Senokot Laxatives is always Purified Senna.

Senokot Laxatives: Questions and Answers

What can I expect if I take one dose of Senokot® Natural Vegetable Laxatives?

Taking the recommended adult dose of two Senokot Tablets or two Senokot-S Tablets (or two teaspoons of Senokot Granules or Senokot Syrup) at bedtime should help provide relief of constipation overnight. The maximum dose is 4 tablets twice daily for adults. If your stools are hard and dry, Senokot-S provides the added benefit of a stool softener.

How long do I have to take a Senokot® Natural Vegetable Laxative before I’ll notice any relief?

You should receive relief overnight. However, some people may find that repeating the dose the next day or the next evening is helpful. For certain types of constipation, such as that caused by constipating medications, Senokot doses may be recommended by a healthcare provider.

Can children take Senokot® Natural Vegetable Laxatives?

Yes. Children ages 2 to under 12 can take Senokot® Children’s Syrup in the appropriate dosage. Senokot Children’s Syrup has a chocolaty flavor and contains no alcohol. Children ages 2 and older may also take Senokot in tablet or granules form. For children under two years of age, consult a doctor. To ensure proper use in children, refer to the recommended dosages outlined below and on the package and always read package instructions.

Senokot Laxatives

Recommended dosage for Senokot Children’s Syrup (or as directed by a doctor): Take preferably at bedtime.

6 to under 12 years of age 1-1Ѕ teaspoons once a day 1Ѕ teaspoons twice a day
2 to under 6 years of age Ѕ – ѕ teaspoon once a day ѕ teaspoon twice a day
Under 2 years Consult a physician

Can seniors use Senokot® Natural Vegetable Laxatives?

Senokot Laxatives provide comfortable overnight relief, making them a good choice for seniors. Available in tablet, granule and syrup forms, Senokot offers a choice of forms convenient for seniors. Senokot Tablets and Senokot-S Tablets are small and easy to take. Senokot Syrup is a pleasant tasting alternative, especially for those who have trouble swallowing pills or capsules. Senokot Granules can be eaten plain, sprinkled on food or mixed into beverages.

Why did my doctor/pharmacist recommend Senokot®  Natural Vegetable Laxatives with my new prescription?

Many people suffer from constipation that is caused by prescription or over-the-counter medications that they are taking for other conditions. Constipation is a potential side effect of many medications. If your new prescription is for one of the medications that may cause constipation, your doctor or pharmacist may recommend that you take Senokot Natural Vegetable Laxatives so that you can continue to take your new prescription medicine without being bothered by constipation.

Always give your doctor a complete list of prescription and nonprescription medications you are currently taking. Your doctor needs to know your entire medication profile to avoid drug interactions and to help you avoid constipation.

When you are given a prescription for a medication, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about side effects you may experience. Be sure to ask if the medication is constipating. Because constipation is sometimes not considered a major side effect, healthcare professionals may not always mention this possibility. If constipation is expected to be a problem, ask your physician or pharmacist about Senokot Laxatives. Taking a Senokot Laxative at bedtime will usually result in gentle, easy and comfortable evacuation the following morning.

If you are already taking a medication and have become constipated, notify your physician and follow instructions. Do not stop taking your medication simply because you believe it may be causing constipation and discomfort. Senokot Laxatives will gently help relieve constipation while you continue with your other medications.

Why did my doctor say I needed a laxative with a stool softener?

Your description of your bowel habits – or your doctor’s experience with a medicine you are taking – indicates the need for a stool softener to counteract hard, dry stools, in combination with a laxative to stimulate evacuation. This dual combination of effects is often helpful. It is especially important to relieve the constipation which is an expected side effect of certain medications.

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