Illegal drugs

messages in brief | 24/08/2009

Samples of senna leaf teas were taken in Austria. These are medicinal products (up to 1.9 grams of senna leaves and up to 0.6 grams of senna fruit per infusion of a tea bag).


  • "FITNÉ Senna Bag"
  • "FITNÉ Senna Herb Bag with Green Tea Aroma"
  • "FITNÉ Senna Chrysanthemum Bag"


Such teas are available mainly in Far Eastern stores. The Federal Office for Safety in Health Care (BASG) warns against misuse and the associated health risk when taking senna leaf teas or senna fruit teas. In case of adverse effects, it is recommended to contact a doctor or pharmacist immediately.


Approved indications and side effectsComparablesenna preparations are approved in Austria for short-term use in constipation. Acute side effects are minor. Severe overdose results in colicky abdominal pain and thin stools. Senna drugs are contraindicated in cases of ileus (intestinal obstruction) and pregnancy (possible genotoxic properties, controversial), among others. Continuous use leads to disturbances in the electrolyte and water balance. This is particularly noticeable in a potassium deficiency. This hypokalemia leads to an increase in constipation, whereupon laxatives are increasingly taken. In addition, due to the hypokalemia, there may be an influence on other, strongly effective drugs such as cardiac glycosides or antiarrhythmics. For these reasons, the use of senna leaves and/or senna fruit without medical advice should not exceed one to two weeks.



Other warnings:

Illegal drugs and counterfeit drugs



Institute MonitoringDipl.-Ing. Dr. Ronald BauerE-mail: ronald.bauer @ages .at


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