Compare Metamucil vs. senna

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

Metamucil (Psyllium)

Over-the-counter

Senokot (senna)

Over-the-counter
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.

5.2/ 7 average rating with 454 reviewsforMetamucil
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
  • 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.
  • Senokot (senna) is tolerated well and has few side effects.
  • Approved for children as young as 2 years old.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • 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
454 
71%
think this treatment is worth it
45%
think this treatment works well
10%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Metamucil (Psyllium)?

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 Metamucil (Psyllium) 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

  • Serious allergic reaction

    Sensitivity to psyllium

See more detailed risks and warnings