Compare Dulcolax vs. senna

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Dulcolax (Bisacodyl)

Over-the-counter

Senokot (senna)

Over-the-counter
Treats constipation.

Dulcolax (Bisacodyl) works fast and the suppositories work even faster to relieve your constipation, as long as you're okay with it "cramping" your style a bit.

5.1/ 7 average rating with 160 reviewsforDulcolax
Relieves occasional constipation.

Senokot (senna) is gentle and effective for occasional constipation, but it can't be used as a long-term treatment.

4.5/ 7 average rating with 69 reviewsforsenna
Upsides
  • Most people said it was worth taking and it wasn't too much of a hassle.
  • Tablets give overnight relief of your constipation.
  • Dulcolax can also be used to treat constipation caused by spinal cord injury.
  • Suppositories give you quick relief without having to drink a large amount of liquid medicine.
  • Senokot (senna) is tolerated well and has few side effects.
  • Approved for children as young as 2 years old.
Downsides
  • Dulcolax can cause cramping, stomach upset, feeling faint, and the feeling that you "have to go right now".
  • You have to be comfortable with putting the medicine in your rectum.
  • Suppositories can cause slight rectal burning.
  • Using Senokot (senna) often or for a long period of time can increase the risk of dehydration, especially if you are older or also taking diuretics.
  • Might take a few days to work which is slower than some of its alternatives.
  • Can only be used as a short-term treatment.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
No pricing information available
No pricing information available
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Reviews
160 
65%
think this treatment is worth it
49%
think this treatment works well
16%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Dulcolax (Bisacodyl)?

Leave a review
69 
58%
think this treatment is worth it
35%
think this treatment works well
10%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Senokot (senna)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Dulcolax (Bisacodyl) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Senokot (senna) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Bowel blockage

    Age 60 or older

    ...and 3 more risk factors

  • Laxative dependence

    Age 60 or greater

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Risk to fetus

    Women of childbearing age

See more detailed risks and warnings