Health Guide
Drug Guide


What is it?

Cascara is an herbal medicine used for constipation (not able to have a bowel movement).

Other names for cascara include: Cascara sagrada, buckthorn, chittem bark, Rhamnus, sacred bark.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you


Talk with your caregiver about how much cascara you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking cascara. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take cascara without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:


Side Effects:

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.


1. Wren RC: Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd., Essex, England; 1975.

2. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A et al: The Complete Commission E Monographs; Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council, Austin, TX; 1998.

3. Wichtl M & Bisset MG (eds): Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Medpharm GmbH Scientific Publishers, Stuttgart, Germany; 1994.

4. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R et al (eds): American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1997.

5. Hsieh C: Treatment of constipation in older adults. Am Fam Physician 2005; 72(11):2277-2284.

Last Updated: 9/15/2016

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