Compare Senna vs. Metamucil

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

Senokot
(senna)

Metamucil
(psyllium)

Relieves constipation. Senokot (senna) is gentle and effective, but it may be weaker than other laxatives.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.55Senna
Reviews for Senna
58%
of people (All ages) say Senna is worth it
35%
say it works well
10%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Senokot (senna)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Metamucil
71%
-13% worse vs. Senna
45%
-10% worse vs. Senna
10%
Same vs. Senna
454 reviews
Have you used Metamucil (psyllium)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
SennaMetamucil

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

More about Senna side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Metamucil »
How it works
SennaMetamucil
Senokot (senna) is a laxative. It causes contractions in your intestine muscles to push stool through. It also makes stool more watery.Metamucil (Psyllium) is a fiber-based laxative. It adds bulk and moisture to your intestine, which softens stool and makes it easier to pass.
Type of medication
SennaMetamucil
Over-the-counterOver-the-counter
Available as
SennaMetamucil
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
SennaMetamucil
Risk factors for serious side effects
SennaMetamucil
  • Age 60 or older
  • Cancer
  • Other condition that causes blockage or narrowing of bowel
  • Taking medications that cause constipation
Detailed Senokot (senna) risks & warnings »
  • 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 »
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
SennaMetamucil
No food related info.
  • Talk to you doctor about eating certain foods and getting more exercise to help prevent your constipation.
Upsides and benefits
SennaMetamucil
  • Senokot (senna) is generally well-tolerated.
  • Can be used if you have hemorrhoids.
  • Can be used in children as young as 2 years old.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
SennaMetamucil
  • Can cause salt imbalances in the blood, especially if you are dehydrated or if you are on water pills.
  • Takes longer to work compared to other medicines for constipation.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
SennaMetamucil
  • It's best to take Senokot (senna) at bedtime. You can expect to have a bowel movement the following morning.
  • You may need a combination of different constipation medicines if Senokot (senna) alone does not help.
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables with lots of fiber can help constipation.
  • Remaining active and staying hydrated are good ways to prevent constipation.
  • Certain medications can increase your risk of constipation. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about changing your medicines to lower your risk.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about SennaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Senokot (senna)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about MetamucilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Metamucil (psyllium)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it