Compare lactulose vs. Senna-S

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

Generlac
(lactulose)

Senna-S
(docusate / senna)

Relieves constipation and gets rid of ammonia in people with liver problems. Generlac (lactulose) relieves constipation and high ammonia levels, but it can take up to 48 hours to work.Helps get things moving and softens things up. Senna and docusate join forces to create Senna-S (Docusate / Senna), a vegetable-based laxative that gently relieves constipation.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Generlac (lactulose)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Senna-S
39%
+61% better vs. lactulose
29%
+71% better vs. lactulose
22%
+22% better vs. lactulose
Have you used Senna-S (docusate / senna)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
lactuloseSenna-S

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

More about lactulose side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Senna-S side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Senna-S »
How it works
lactuloseSenna-S
Generlac (lactulose) draws water into the intestines to soften your stool for easier passing. It also helps draw ammonia into your stool for removal from the body.Senna-S (Docusate / Senna) is a combination medicine. Docusate is a stool softener, and Senna is a stimulant laxative. These two ingredients work together to make stools easier to pass.
Type of medication
lactuloseSenna-S
Prescription onlyOver-the-counter
Available as
lactuloseSenna-S
  • Liquid
  • Powder
  • Pill
Used for
lactuloseSenna-S
Risk factors for serious side effects
lactuloseSenna-S
  • Taking Generlac (lactulose) for more than 6 months
  • Elderly
  • Taking medications that cause mineral imbalance
  • Not exercising regularly
  • Diabetes
Detailed Generlac (lactulose) risks & warnings »
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
Detailed Senna-S (docusate / senna) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Food
lactuloseSenna-S
No food related info.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
Pain
lactuloseSenna-S
No pain related info.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Docusate/Senna if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
Upsides and benefits
lactuloseSenna-S
  • Generlac (lactulose) is the first-choice treatment for brain conditions caused by high ammonia levels.
  • Can be used if you have severe chronic constipation leading to blockage.
  • Available in generic.
  • Can be taken orally or rectally.
  • The combination of a laxative and stool softener might work better for people with constipation caused by medicines.
  • The laxative in Docusate/Senna was used over 3,500 years ago, so it's been around for a while.
  • Docusate/Senna is clinically proven to relieve constipation from a variety of causes.
  • One of the few laxative/stool-softener combinations that can be given to children 2 and older.
  • It may not work for everyone, but people felt it was worth the hassle.
Downsides and risks
lactuloseSenna-S
  • Should not be used if you are on a galactose-restricted diet.
  • Does not provide rapid relief of constipation. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you need quick relief.
  • Generlac (lactulose) has a very sweet flavor that most people don't like.
  • Most people felt that it's not the most effective laxative out there, but they could deal with the hassle and it worked pretty well.
  • Docusate/Senna can cause cramping or the feeling that you "have to go right now".
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
lactuloseSenna-S
  • Generlac (lactulose) works within 24 to 48 hours to produce a bowel movement.
  • If you are taking this for constipation, it is usually taken once a day.
  • The goal is for you to have 2 to 3 stools a day.
  • You can mix the oral solution in juice, water, or milk for better taste.
  • Generlac (lactulose) can cause you to be dehydrated, so make sure you drink plenty of fluids.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and drinking plenty of fluids can help you prevent constipation.
  • Docusate/Senna is a combination of a laxative and stool softener. Together they work to relieve constipation better than each medicine alone.
  • Best to take at bedtime or as your doctor has prescribed, but not for more than one week. It works in about 6-12 hours.
  • Ask your doctor about giving Docusate/Senna to anyone younger than 2 years.
  • Don't use if you're taking mineral oil for constipation. Ask your doctor first.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Docusate/Senna 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 pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
Learn more
More about lactuloseSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Generlac (lactulose)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about Senna-SSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Senna-S (docusate / senna)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it