What Are Sennosides?

What Are Sennosides?

Sennosides are stimulant laxatives used to treat constipation, according to WebMD. Physicians also prescribe sennosides to patients who need to clean out their intestinal tracts before a test or surgical procedure.

Sennosides make the intestinal tract move and empty by keeping water in the intestines, explains WebMD, but it can take up to 12 hours for a patient to have a bowel movement after taking this medication. Sennosides are available as pills, liquid and dissolving strips, and they should be taken as directed on the package or per a physician's instructions. In most cases, this medication should not be used for more than seven days. Common brand names include Senokot and Senna.