Excessive amounts may raise blood pressure, cause fluid retention and should be avoided during pregnancy and by anyone with heart or kidney ailments. Prolonged use may cause hypertension, edema, headache, vertigo and potassium depletion, also sodium and fluid retention.1 Do not use if you have a history of stroke or if on digoxin. Products that contain licorice as a flavoring, such as chewing tobacco, have also been implicated in cases of toxicity. Hypersensitivity reactions to glycyrrhiza containing products have also been noted.
Actions: Accelerate the healing of gastric ulcers. Secretolytic and expectorant effects. Antispasmodic action. Use: For catarrhs of the upper respiratory tract and gastric/duodenal ulcers. Contraindications: Cholestatic liver disorders. Liver cirrhosis. Hypertonia. Hypokalemia.
Severe kidney insufficiency. Pregnancy. Side Effects: With prolonged use and higher doses, there may be sodium and water retention and potassium loss, accompanied by hypertension, edema, and hypokalemia, and myoglobinuria (rare). Cautions: Other drugs (such as thiazide diuretics) may increase potassium loss. Sensitivity to digitalis glycosides increases with the decrease in potassium.
Duration of Administration: Do not use longer than 4 - 6 weeks without medical advice. There is no objection to using licorice root as a flavoring agent up to a maximum daily dosage equivalent to 100 mg glycyrrhizin. Source for the above reference: http://neuro.vetmed.ufl.edu/Alt_med/Library/Monograph/licorice.html
1 Sigurjonsdottir HA, et al, J Human Hyper ten 1995;9(5):345-348
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