Ex-Lax Senna Pills
Ex-Lax Senna Pills, a gentle laxative extracted from senna, which works overnight to help your body return to regularity.
Adults and children over 12 years: One pill at bedtime. A second pill may be taken during the day if required. DO not exceed the two doses in any 24hour period.
Children under 12 years: Not recommended.
|Main use||Active ingredient||Manufacturer|
Novartis Consumer Healthcare
How does Ex-Lax work?
Ex-Lax tablets and pills contain the active ingredient senna, which is a type of medicine called a stimulant laxative. It is used to treat constipation.
Senna works by stimulating the nerve endings in the walls of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. This causes the muscles in the intestinal wall to contract more often and with increased force. When these muscles contract (a process known as peristalsis), this moves the contents of the intestine through the colon to the rectum so that the bowel can be emptied. This relieves constipation.
Senna contains sennosides which are activated by the natural bacteria that are found in the colon, so it does not start working until it reaches this part of the gut. As senna increases the activity of the muscle in the gut it can cause stomach cramps.
Ex-Lax tablets and pills start to work eight to twelve hours after you take them. The recommended dose should be taken at bedtime to produce relief from constipation the following morning.
What Ex-Lax used for?
- You should not take Ex-lax if you have severe abdominal pain together with feeling sick and vomiting, as this could indicate that you have a more serious condition that needs investigating.
- You should make sure that you drink plenty of fluids while taking this medicine, as this will also help the constipation.
- If you don't have a bowel movement after three days of taking this medicine you should consult your doctor. If you find you need to use a laxative every day you should consult your doctor so that the cause of the constipation can be investigated. Laxatives should not be used on a continuous basis for longer than seven days without consulting your doctor.
- Prolonged, excessive use of laxatives can lead to chronic diarrhoea, low potassium levels in the blood (hypokalaemia) and an imbalance in the amount of fluid and salts (electrolytes) in your body, particularly if you are also taking diuretic or steroid medicines. This can cause kidney problems, amongst others. Prolonged, excessive use may also make the constipation worse in the long-term, as the gut can become reliant on the laxative.
Use with caution in
- People who have recently had surgery on the bowel.
Not to be used in
- People with a blockage in the gut (intestinal obstruction or ileus).
- People with a colostomy or ileostomy.
- People with any bleeding from the stomach or intestine.
- Ex-lax pills are not recommended for children under 12 years of age. Ex-lax tablets are not recommended for children under six years of age. (NB. When treating constipation in children older than this you should always seek the advice of a doctor first.)
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- This medicine is not known to be harmful if taken during pregnancy. However, as with all medicines, you should seek medical advice from your doctor before taking this medicine if you are pregnant, particularly if you are in your first trimester. Other methods of relieving constipation may be more suitable for you.
- There are no known harmful effects when this medicine is used by breastfeeding mothers.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
- Stomach pain and cramps.
- Excessive use can cause diarrhoea and low levels of potassium in the blood (see warning above). You should not exceed the recommended dose.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can ex-lax pills affect other medicines?
This medicine is not known to affect other medicines. However, if you are already taking any other medicines, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, you should ask your pharmacist for advice before taking this one as well.