licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra, Alcacuz, Sweet Root, Gan Zao, and many others)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

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DOSING:

  • Upset stomach: A combination product containing licorice is used as 1 ml by mouth three times daily.
  • Ulcer: Take 760-1520 mg by mouth with meals for 8 to 16 weeks.
  • Cough: Take 0.5 to 1 gram of powdered root one to three times a day.
  • Root: Take 1 to 4 gram by mouth three times a day.
  • Tea: Prepare tea with 1 to 4 gram of root per 150 ml water; drink 1 cup up to three times a day.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Licorice should not be used with warfarin (Coumadin) because it can accelerate the breakdown of warfarin and decrease the effectiveness, leading to increased risk of clotting.

Licorice should be used with caution with digoxin (Lanoxin) because licorice can lower potassium levels in the body and low potassium can lead to increased digoxin side effects like dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, irregular heart rate and rhythm, and visual disturbances.

Licorice should be used with caution in women taking birth controls pills or other hormonal medications. Licorice may change hormone levels in the body and decrease effectiveness of estrogen containing medications like conjugated estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, and estradiol (Estrace).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/15/2014

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