Compare Metamucil vs. Senna

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

Metamucil
(Psyllium)

Senokot
(Senna)

Helps get things moving. The natural psyllium fiber in Metamucil (Psyllium) does more than relieve constipation. It lowers cholesterol, keeps blood sugar levels healthy, and makes you feel less hungry between meals.Helps get things moving. Senokot (Senna) is gentle and effective, but it may be weaker than other laxatives.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.164079822616408Metamucil
Reviews for Metamucil (Psyllium)
71%
of people say Metamucil (Psyllium) is worth it
45%
say it works well
10%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Senokot (Senna)
57%
14% vs. Metamucil (Psyllium)
35%
10% vs. Metamucil (Psyllium)
10%
Same vs. Metamucil (Psyllium)
Side effects
MetamucilSenna

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

FDA side effect reports for Metamucil »

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

FDA side effect reports for Senna »
How it works
MetamucilSenna
Metamucil (Psyllium) is a fiber-based laxative. It adds bulk and moisture to your intestine, which softens stool and makes it easier to pass.Senokot (Senna) is a plant-derived stimulant laxative. It causes waves of contractions (peristalsis) in your intestine muscles to push stool through. It also makes stool more watery.
Type of medication
MetamucilSenna
Laxative
Bulk-producing
Over-the-counter
Laxative
Stimulant
Over-the-counter
Available as
MetamucilSenna
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
MetamucilSenna
Risk factors for serious side effects
MetamucilSenna
  • Age 60 or older
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • Sensitivity to psyllium
Detailed Metamucil (Psyllium) risks & warnings »
  • Age 60 or greater
  • Malignancy
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Age 60 or older
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
  • People who can't walk or move well (immobility)
  • Allergy or sensitivity to aloe (cross-allergic reaction)
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Senokot (Senna) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
MetamucilSenna
NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

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.

See the FDA package insert
NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

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.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
  • It has multiple health benefits, good to control your hunger between meals, improves your blood sugar and lowers cholesterol levels.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
MetamucilSenna
  • Psyllium is the most recommended brand of natural fiber laxative
  • Some people feel that taking Psyllium is a hassle, but most think it's worth it.
  • It has multiple health benefits, good to control your hunger between meals, improves your blood sugar and lowers cholesterol levels.
  • Studies show it works better than a stool softener for constipation.
  • Senna was used over 3,500 years ago, so it's been around for a while.
  • It's clinically proven to relieve constipation from a variety of causes.
  • One of the few laxatives 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
MetamucilSenna
  • You may have to take Psyllium daily for 1-3 days to see full effects.
  • If you don't take it with enough liquid, it could swell, block your throat and cause choking.
  • Not the best choice for people who have swallowing problems or aren't able to drink lots of liquids.
  • Psyllium contains psyllium. Don't take if you have an allergy to psyllium from breathing it in or swallowing it.
  • Can cause gas and mild belly cramps.
  • It may be gentle, but it's not the strongest laxative for constipation.
  • Senna can cause cramping or the feeling that you "have to go right now".
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
MetamucilSenna
  • Psyllium works in about 12-72 hours for constipation.
  • It's important to take each dose with at least 8 ounces (a full glass) of water or other liquid (not hot liquids).
  • Mix powder well and drink right away up to 3 times a day (build up to this slowly), but not for more than one week.
  • Don't take Psyllium within 2 hours before or after taking other medicines. It may interact and affect how they work.
  • If you take Psyllium then have chest pain, vomiting, trouble breathing or swallowing, get medical help immediately.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Psyllium if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or had sudden changes in your stool for more than 2 weeks.
  • Ask your doctor about giving Psyllium to anyone younger than 12 years.
  • Stop taking Psyllium and call your doctor if you have pain, swelling or bulging in your belly, rectal bleeding or have not had a bowel movement after taking.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
  • It's best to take it at bedtime or as your doctor has prescribed, but not for more than one week. Works in about 6-12 hours.
  • Ask your doctor about giving Senna to anyone younger than 2 years.
  • Ask your doctor before taking 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 MetamucilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about SennaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert