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Who can and cannot take senna

Who can take senna

Most adults aged 18 years and over can take senna.

Young people aged 12 to 17 years can take senna if a doctor or pharmacist says it's OK.

Children aged 11 years and under can take senna if a doctor prescribes it.


Only give senna to a child if a doctor or pharmacist recommends it.

Who may not be able to take senna

Senna may not be suitable for some people. To make sure it's safe for you, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting to take senna if you:

  • have ever had an allergic reaction to senna or any other medicine
  • have signs of dehydration – these include peeing less than usual or having dark, strong-smelling pee
  • have severe stomach pain and you are feeling or being sick (nausea or vomiting)
  • have a blockage in your bowel (intestinal obstruction)
  • have Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • have a serious problem in your stomach (abdomen) such as appendicitis
  • have kidney or heart problems
  • are trying to get pregnant, already pregnant or breastfeeding

Page last reviewed: 1 February 2022
Next review due: 1 February 2025