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Drugs reference index «licorice»

licorice

Generic Name: licorice (LIH koe rish)Brand Names:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 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.

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. 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?

No information is available regarding a missed dose of licorice. Consult your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider if you require further information.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

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?

There are no known restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while taking licorice, unless otherwise directed by your health care provider.

Licorice side effects

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.

Other side effects have not been reported with the proper use of licorice. Notify your doctor if you develop any type of side effect while taking licorice.

What other drugs will affect licorice?

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?

  • Your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider may have more information about licorice.
  • Consultation with a licensed health care professional is advisable before using any herbal/health supplement. 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. Remember, keep this and all other prescription drug products, over-the-counter drug products, and herbal/health supplements out of the reach of children.
  • 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 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.03. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:07:58 PM.
  • Licorice Natural MedFacts for Professionals (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Licorice Natural MedFacts for Consumers (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Licorice MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)

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