What are the possible risks of senna?

Long-term use of senna puts you at risk for dangerous side effects. Do not take senna or any other laxative for more than seven to 10 days. Extended use of senna and other laxatives may result in lazy bowel syndrome, in which your body requires laxatives to have any bowel movement.

Young children may get serious rashes from taking senna. Use extreme caution when giving senna to children.

If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking senna. If you are breastfeeding and your baby develops diarrhea, stop taking senna, as senna can be transferred to a baby through breast milk.

Some serious side effects have been attributed to senna. People taking senna for an extended period of time have reported developing clubbed fingers and toes, liver damage, and weakened muscles and bones. Senna may worsen a preexisting inflammation of the bowels or hemorrhoids.

Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking senna before beginning treatment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.