Compare Dulcolax vs. Senna

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

Dulcolax
(bisacodyl)

Senokot
(senna)

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.Relieves constipation. Senokot (senna) is gentle and effective, but it may be weaker than other laxatives.
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Coupons for Dulcolax
Best available price for 60 (100mg) capsules of dulcolax
Coupons for Senna
Best available price for 60 (8.6mg) tablets of senna
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.14Dulcolax
Reviews for Dulcolax
65%
of people (All ages) say Dulcolax is worth it
49%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
160 reviews
Have you used Dulcolax (bisacodyl)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Senna
58%
+7% better vs. Dulcolax
35%
+14% better vs. Dulcolax
10%
-6% worse vs. Dulcolax
Have you used Senokot (senna)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
DulcolaxSenna

We haven’t found good data for Dulcolax side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Dulcolax »

The Senna FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Senna side effects »
How it works
DulcolaxSenna
Dulcolax (Bisacodyl) is a stimulant laxative that you can take by mouth or in a suppository. It causes waves of contractions (peristalsis) in your intestine muscles to push stool through. It also makes stool more watery.Senokot (senna) is a laxative. It causes contractions in your intestine muscles to push stool through. It also makes stool more watery.
Type of medication
DulcolaxSenna
Over-the-counterOver-the-counter
Available as
DulcolaxSenna
  • Pill
  • Suppository
  • Pill
Used for
DulcolaxSenna
Risk factors for serious side effects
DulcolaxSenna
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • Age 60 or greater
Detailed Dulcolax (bisacodyl) risks & warnings »
  • Age 60 or older
  • Cancer
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
Detailed Senokot (senna) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Food
DulcolaxSenna
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
No food related info.
Pain
DulcolaxSenna
  • Don't take if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
DulcolaxSenna
  • 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 generally well-tolerated.
  • Can be used if you have hemorrhoids.
  • Can be used in children as young as 2 years old.
Downsides and risks
DulcolaxSenna
  • 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.
  • Can cause salt imbalances in the blood, especially if you are dehydrated or if you are on water pills.
  • Takes longer to work compared to other medicines for constipation.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
DulcolaxSenna
  • Swallow tablets whole (don't chew or crush) at bedtime, but not for more than one week.
  • Tablet works in 6 to 12 hours. Suppository works in 15 minutes to an hour, so make sure you're near a bathroom.
  • Don't take tablets within 1 hour of taking antacids, milk or dairy products.
  • Be sure to remove the wrapper from the suppository before inserting it into your rectum.
  • Ask your doctor about giving Dulcolax to anyone younger than 6 years.
  • Don't take if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Check with your baby doctor before using or if you're breast-feeding.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
  • It's best to take Senokot (senna) at bedtime. You can expect to have a bowel movement the following morning.
  • You may need a combination of different constipation medicines if Senokot (senna) alone does not help.
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables with lots of fiber can help constipation.
  • Remaining active and staying hydrated are good ways to prevent constipation.
  • Certain medications can increase your risk of constipation. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about changing your medicines to lower your risk.
Learn more
More about DulcolaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Dulcolax (bisacodyl)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about SennaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Senokot (senna)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it