Compare senna vs. Metamucil

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

Senokot (senna)

Over-the-counter

Metamucil (psyllium)

Over-the-counter
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
Helps get things moving.

Metamucil (psyllium) is a natural fiber that is cheap and effective at relieving constipation.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 454 reviewsforMetamucil
Upsides
  • Senokot (senna) is tolerated well and has few side effects.
  • Approved for children as young as 2 years old.
  • Inexpensive and available over-the-counter.
  • Made from a natural product.
  • Using Metamucil (psyllium) has multiple benefits, including relieving constipation, lowering cholesterol, and making you feel full.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Metamucil (psyllium) can take up to 72 hours to relieve constipation.
  • Not the best choice for people who have swallowing problems or can't drink lots of liquids.
  • Metamucil (psyllium) can cause gas and stomach cramps.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Powder
No pricing information available
No pricing information available
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Reviews
69 reviews so far
58%
saidit'sworth it
35%
saiditworked well
10%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Senokot (senna)?

Leave a review
454 reviews so far
71%
saidit'sworth it
45%
saiditworked well
10%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Metamucil (psyllium)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Senokot (senna) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Metamucil (psyllium) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Bowel blockage
  • Laxative dependence
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Blockage of small or large intestine
    • Age 60 or older
    • Cancer
    • Taking medicines that cause constipation
    • Limited liquid intake
  • Choking
    • Limited liquid intake
    • Swallowing problems
  • Serious allergic reaction
    • Hypersensitivity to psyllium
See more detailed risks and warnings