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  • licorice
 

licorice

Pronunciation: LIH koe rish

What is the most important information I should know about licorice?

Licorice is a commonly used flavoring agent and food product. Licorice is also available as an herbal supplement. The information contained in this leaflet refers to the use of licorice as an herbal supplement. When used as a food product, the benefits and potential side effects of licorice may be less pronounced than when it is used as an herbal supplement.

Multum donot

Do not take more of this medication than is directed. Too much licorice could be dangerous. Also, do not take licorice for longer than 6 weeks. The use of licorice at high doses (over 50 g per day) and/or for longer than 6 weeks may cause low blood levels of potassium, high blood levels of sodium, water retention, increased blood pressure, heart problems, and blood problems.

Licorice has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of licorice may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

What is licorice?

The use of licorice in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

Licorice is also known as liquorice, American licorice, Spanish licorice, Russian licorice, sweet root, and Glycyrrhiza glabra.

Licorice is a commonly used flavoring agent and food product. Licorice is also available as an herbal supplement. The information contained in this leaflet refers to the use of licorice as an herbal supplement. When used as a food product, the benefits and potential side effects of licorice may be less pronounced than when it is used as an herbal supplement.

Licorice has been used to loosen congestion that may occur due to a cough or cold, and to treat and prevent inflammation and/or ulceration of the stomach. Licorice has been used topically to suppress the production of oil on the scalp.

Licorice has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of licorice may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Licorice may also have uses other than those listed in this product guide.

Who should not take licorice?

Do not take licorice without first talking to your doctor if you have

  • heart disease,
  • high blood pressure, or
  • diabetes.

You may not be able to take licorice, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during your treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Talk to your doctor before taking licorice if you have any other medical conditions, allergies (especially to plants), or if you take other medicines or herbal/health supplements. Licorice may not be recommended in some situations.

Multum nopreg

Do not take licorice without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. It is not known whether licorice will harm an unborn baby.

Multum nobrfeed

Do not take licorice without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. It is also not known whether licorice will harm a nursing infant.

There is no information available regarding the use of licorice by children. Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without first talking to the child's doctor.

How should I take licorice?

The use of licorice in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

If you choose to take licorice, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Standardized extracts, tinctures, and solid formulations of herbal/health supplements may provide a more reliable dose of the product.

Licorice is available in pill formulations, powered or crushed forms, liquid drops, and tea formulations.

Multum donot

Do not take more of this product than is directed. Too much licorice could be dangerous. Also, do not take licorice for longer than 6 weeks. The use of licorice at high doses (over 50 g per day) and/or for longer than 6 weeks may cause low blood levels of potassium, high blood levels of sodium, water retention, increased blood pressure, heart problems, and blood problems.

Multum donot

Do not use different formulations (e.g., tablets, topical formulations, teas, tinctures, and others) of licorice at the same time, unless specifically directed to do so by a health care professional. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose of licorice.

Store licorice as directed on the package. In general, licorice should be protected from light and moisture.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra licorice to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Symptoms of a licorice overdose may include low blood levels of potassium, high blood levels of sodium, water retention, increased blood pressure, heart problems, decreased or stopped menstrual periods, weakness, dulled reflexes, lethargy, and blood problems.

What should I avoid while taking licorice?

Follow your healthcare provider's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What are the possible side effects of licorice?

Multum emt

Although uncommon, allergic reactions to licorice have been reported. Stop taking licorice and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect licorice?

Multum donot

Do not take licorice without first talking to your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • a heart or blood pressure medicine;
  • spironolactone (Aldactone);
  • isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), or phenelzine (Nardil);
  • cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune);
  • a diabetes medicine such as insulin, glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (Micronase, Diabeta, Glynase), metformin (Glucophage), troglitazone (Rezulin), rosiglitazone (Avandia), pioglitazone (Actos), and others;
  • a steroid medicine such as cortisone (Cortone), hydrocortisone (Cortef, Hydrocortone, others), prednisone (Deltasone, others), prednisolone (Prelone, Pediapred, others), methylprednisolone (Medrol, Solu-Medrol, others), triamcinolone (Aristocort, others), and others;
  • birth control pills such as Triphasil, Ovral, Lo-Ovral, Nordette, Alesse, Demulen, Ortho-Novum, and many others;
  • estrogen replacement products such as Premarin, Cenestin, Vivelle, Climara, Fempatch, and many others; or
  • tamoxifen (Nolvadex) or toremifene (Fareston).

You may not be able to take licorice, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with licorice or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines or other herbal/health supplements.

Where can I get more information?

Consult with a licensed healthcare professional before using any herbal/health supplement. Whether you are treated by a medical doctor or a practitioner trained in the use of natural medicines/supplements, make sure all your healthcare providers know about all of your medical conditions and treatments.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2013 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01. Revision date: 1/10/2011.

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