Compare Magnesium Citrate vs. senna

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

Treats constipation.

Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) works well if you need to really get things moving, but it's not a good medicine to manage chronic constipation.

Relieves occasional constipation.

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

3.4/ 5 average rating with 69 reviewsforsenna
Upsides
  • Really strong laxative that gets things moving fast.
  • Can also be used to prep your bowel before you go for surgery or colonoscopy. Your doctor will give you specific instructions if you use it this way.
  • Senokot (senna) is tolerated well and has few side effects.
  • Approved for children as young as 2 years old.
Downsides
  • It doesn't work for everyone and some people feel it's a hassle.
  • Some brands are of Magnesium Citrate are tinted red and can change the color of your stool.
  • Can cause dizziness, weakness, diarrhea, and the feeling that you "have to go right now".
  • Magnesium Citrate contains magnesium which prevents certain medicines from working properly. Make sure you take your dose of Magnesium Citrate at least 2 hours before or after other medicines.
  • You can't take it for more than a week or so.
  • 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
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
No pricing information available
No pricing information available
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Reviews
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69 reviews so far
58%
saidit'sworth it
35%
saiditworked well
10%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) 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 risk factors
  • Bowel blockage
    • Age 60 or older
    • Malignancy
    • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
    • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • Electrolyte imbalance
    • Taking with medications that cause electrolyte imbalance
    • Age 60 or older
  • Risk to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Worsening of neuromuscular conditions
    • Taking Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) if you have kidney disease and neuromuscular disease
    • Taking Citrate Of Magnesia (Magnesium Citrate) if you have neuromuscular disease
  • High magnesium levels
    • Kidney disease
    • Taking other magnesium-containing medicines or supplements
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Bowel blockage
  • Laxative dependence
See more detailed risks and warnings