Before taking senna, nursing women should first consult their healthcare providers. Although studies suggest that the product does not pass through breast milk, it is best to check with your healthcare provider before taking any supplement or medication if you are nursing. No serious problems are expected in breastfeeding women who take senna on a short-term basis.
An Overview of Senna and Breastfeeding
Senna is a natural laxative used most often for treating constipation. Short-term senna use is usually considered to be safe for breastfeeding women. However, it is always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider (or your child's healthcare provider) before taking any medication or supplement while breastfeeding.
Is It Safe?
Very little senna is absorbed into the bloodstream, and studies suggest that the supplement does not pass through breast milk. However, the body converts senna into rhein, and a very small amount of rhein is passed through breast milk. No serious problems would be expected from appropriate, short-term use of senna while breastfeeding.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider
You should talk with your healthcare provider about breastfeeding while taking senna. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed April 14 2009.
Senna. Drug Facts and Comparisons. Drug Facts and Comparisons 4.0 [online]. 2009. Available from Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Accessed April 14, 2009.
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