If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use licorice without first talking to your health care provider:
- Ace-inhibitors and diuretics -- If you are taking angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or diuretics to regulate blood pressure, do not use licorice products. Licorice could interfere with the effectiveness of these medications or could worsen possible side effects.
- Aspirin -- Animal studies suggest that licorice may reduce stomach irritation as well as the risk of stomach ulcers associated with aspirin.
- Digoxin -- Because licorice may dangerously increase the risk of toxic effects from digoxin, this herb should not be taken with this medication.
- Corticosteroids -- Licorice may increase the effects of corticosteroid medications. You should consult with your doctor before using licorice with any corticosteroids.
- Insulin -- Licorice may enhance some of the adverse effects of insulin.
- Laxatives -- Licorice may cause substantial potassium loss in people taking stimulant laxatives.
- Oral contraceptives -- There have been reports of women developing high blood pressure and low potassium levels when they took licorice while on oral contraceptives. Therefore, you should avoid licorice if you are taking birth control medications.
Ernest B. Hawkins, MS, BSPharm, RPh, Health Education Resources; and Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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