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Painful cramping, watery stools after SENNA LAXATIVE.

Resolved Question:

My mother took senna laxative yesterday and has been having painful cramping and watery stools ever since. She hasn't eaten and the cramps keep coming. Will they stop by themselves or is there something we can do to relieve her pain? She is over 80. She currently has no steady physician.

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 28 Doctors Online

Thank you for your query at
I understand your concern.
It depends on what laxative she took. Most laxatives stop working within 24 hours. So it should stop in some time.
If she is having a lot of cramping, you can give her Tab. Dicyclomine SOS.
However, if the stools persist you can give her Cap. Loperamide just one single dose. This will prevent further loose stools.
Feel free to discuss further,
Dr. Jay

Patient replied :

Thank you, Dr. Jay for your reply. The drugs you mention are by prescription only, or are they available OTC?
Could you tell me what is a better, no cramping laxative she can use? She was dependent on Ex-lax for many years when it was made of yellow phenophtalein (unsure of spelling) When it became senna, she took it, but yesterday she got cramps all night from it.
I hope you can help me by answering this. I've been up all night leading her to the toilet and cleaning the mess. (She is blind).

Yes, both the drugs are OTC. You will get it easily in any pharmacy.
A better alternative would be the osmotic based laxatives such as Lactulose or Syrup Cremaffin, which can be given 15 ml once daily at bed time. This will over a period of time regularize her bowel movements too. It does not cause cramping.
I can understand and I appreciate what you are doing for her.
Dr. Jay

Patient replied :

Thanks again, Dr. Jay. I called a local pharmacy but none of the drugs you mentioned can be had without a prescription. How can I get them? Is there anything else I can get to help my mother?

In that case, you need your local GP to write you a prescription. being an online forum, we are not allowed to write prescriptions online.
As of now, Lactulose will be enough to ensure soft stools.
Dr. Jay

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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