Reviewed on 9/14/2021

What Is Senna/Docusate and How Does It Work?

Senna/docusate is an over-the-counter (OTC) product used to treat constipation.

Senna/docusate is available under the following different brand names: PeriColace, Senna Plus, Senna-S, and Senokot-S.

Dosages of Senna/Docusate

Dosage Forms and Strengths


  • 8.6mg/50mg

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:


  • Adults and children over 12 years: 2-4 tablets orally once daily; may increase to 4 tablets every 12 hours
  • Children 6-12 years: One tablet orally once daily may increase as necessary; not to exceed 2 tabs every 12 hours
  • Children 2-6 years: One-half tablet orally once daily; may increase to maximum 1 tablet every 12 hours
  • Children under 2 years: Safety and efficacy not established

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Senna/Docusate?

Side effects of senna/docusate include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Yellow-brown urine discoloration

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

What Other Drugs Interact with Senna/Docusate?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.

  • Senna/docusate has no listed severe interactions with other drugs.
  • Serious interactions of senna/docusate include:
    • sodium sulfate/potassium sulfate/magnesium sulfate
    • sodium sulfate/potassium sulfate/magnesium sulfate/polyethylene glycol
  • Moderate interactions of senna/docusate include:
    • deflazacort
    • dichlorphenamide
    • digoxin
    • lily of the valley
  • Mild interactions of senna/docusate include:
    • mineral oil

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your physician if you have health questions or concerns.


You are constipated if you don't have a bowel movement every day. See Answer

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Senna/Docusate? 


This medication contains senna/docusate. Do not take PeriColace, Senna Plus, Senna-S, or Senokot-S if you are allergic to senna/docusate or any ingredients contained in this drug.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.


Effects of Drug Abuse

  • No information available

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Senna/Docusate?”

Long-Term Effects

  • Finger clubbing (long-term use)
  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Senna/Docusate?”


  • Finger clubbing (long-term use)
  • Not for use as over the counter in patients experiencing abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, sudden change in bowel movement that last more than 2 weeks
  • Not recommended for use more than 1 week or children under 2 years

Pregnancy and Lactation

No information is available regarding use of senna/docusate during pregnancy.

It is unknown if senna/docusate is excreted in breast milk. Senna/docusate is not recommended for use while breastfeeding.

Pregnant or breastfeeding patients should seek advice of a health professional before using over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.


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