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Factors affecting a Senokot® dosage include the condition its being used for and how well the patient tolerates it. The standard Senokot® dosage for adults is 70 mg to 100 mg per day and 8.6 mg daily for children. Senokot® is used in the treatment of constipation and sometimes used to clean out the colon prior to a colonosscopy. Even at the lowest Senokot® dosage, adverse reactions can occur, but they are usually mild and temporary.
Side effects of Senokot® may include cramping and abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, and gas. Serious side effects that can occur at a larger Senokot® dosage include liver damage, kidney failure, and heart abnormalities. Rare, but serious side effects include difficulty breathing, wheezing, swelling of the throat, and severe hives. These symptoms require emergency medical attention to avoid life-threatening complications.
Senokot® is also beneficial for preventing hemorrhoids. Straining during a bowel movement can cause or aggravate hemorrhoids, causing irritation and sometimes, bleeding. This natural, over-the-counter preparation contains senna, a common botanical product, and is sometimes administered to bed-ridden hospital patients suffering from constipation.
Senokot® taken with certain medications might cause adverse reactions. The health care provider should be consulted when Senokot® is combined with certain heart medications, water pills, and blood thinners. Although rare, Senokot® overdoses do occur, and are characterized by severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and bloating. The diarrhea can be so severe that it can cause dehydration. If this occurs, hospitalization may be required to intravenously replace fluids and electrolytes.
Using Senokot® during pregnancy is considered safe when the drug is used for short periods of time. It is prudent, however, to discuss the use of Senokot® with the health care provider if pregnant or nursing a baby. Since only small amounts of this dietary supplement actually get absorbed into the system, it is unlikely to negatively affect the fetus. Long-term use of Senokot® is not recommended because people can become dependent on it to maintain regularity.
Though constipation is a common condition, the health care provider should be consulted if it lasts longer than normal for the individual, or if its accompanied by bloating, abdominal pain, and weight loss. Medical conditions that can cause constipation include hypothyroidism, irritable bowel syndrome, and bowel obstructions. Certain medications can also cause constipation, including beta blockers, prescription pain relievers, and anti-anxiety medications. Drinking enough fluids, eating a healthy diet, and exercising can also help promote regularity.
My roommate took too much Senokot once. He didn't realize that it takes about eight or so hours to start working. So after a couple of hours, he took another dose thinking that the first dose hadn't worked. He couldn't leave the bathroom for the remainder of the day. The poor guy was having so many cramps and lost a lot of fluid through the process.
I went to the pharmacy and got some rehydration drinks with electrolytes for him so that he wouldn't be dehydrated the next day. He was pretty weak and tired for the next couple of days. It was a good lesson for all of us to pay attention to directions and not overdose on medications.
He didn't have any long-term problems but it was not a fun couple of days.
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