Complementary/Alternative Medicine: This monograph describes a natural or herbal product that is not subject to FDA guidelines for medicines. Patients and clinicians are advised to read package labels carefully to ensure safe and efficacious use.


Trade Name(s)

  • Glycyrrhiza glabra
  • deglycyrrhized licorice (DGL)
  • sweet root

Ther. Class.
antiulcer agents

Common Uses



Licorice blocks the metabolism of prostaglandins E and F2 alpha and may accelerate peptic ulcer healing. Licorice root also has antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, laxative and soothing properties.

Therapeutic Effect(s):

Improved symptoms of dyspepsia.


Absorption: Unknown.

Distribution: Unknown.

Metabolism and Excretion: Unknown.

Half-life: Unknown.




Contraindicated in:

  • Hypersensitivity.
  • Pregnancy and lactation.

Use Cautiously in:

  • Congestive heart failure.
  • Hypertension.
  • Renal disease.
  • Hypokalemia.
  • Consumption of 30 grams/day or more for several wk can cause severe adverse events.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

CNS: headache, lethargy

CV: arrhythmias, hypertension

Endo: pseudohyperaldosteronism, hyperparathyroidism, decreased serum testosterone

F and E: hypokalemia, sodium and water retention

GI: nausea, vomiting

GU: acute renal failure

MS: muscle weakness

* CAPITALS indicate life-threatening.
Underline indicate most frequent.


Natural Drug Interaction

  • ↑ risk of cardiotoxicity with cardiac glycosides .
  • ↓ effectiveness of antihypertensives .
  • ↑ potassium loss with potassium-depleting diuretics .
  • ↑ metabolism and ↓ levels of warfarin .


  • Licorice causes potassium depletion which may increase the risk of cardiotoxicity with cardiac glycoside-containing herbs (digitalis)
  • Additive potassium depletion can occur with stimulant laxative herbs (senna) .


PO: (Adults) Dyspepsia– 1 mL three times daily (Iberogast – combination product with other herbs) for 4 weeks.


Liquid extract


  • Assess GI function (bowel sounds, abdominal distention, and usual pattern of bowel function) before and periodically during therapy.
  • Monitor BP and ECG periodically during prolonged therapy.

Lab Test Considerations:

Monitor 17–hydroxyprogesterone concentrations, electrolytes, LDH, lipid profile, liver function tests, plasma renin, renal function test, and testosterone periodically during therapy.

Potential Diagnoses


  • PO: Administration should be limited to 4 wks.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to take as directed.
  • Advise female patient to notify health care professional if pregnancy is planned or suspected or if breastfeeding.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

Reduction in dyspepsia.

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* When formatting your citation, note that all book, journal, and database titles should be italicized* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - licorice ID - 110006 Y1 - 2019 PB - Davis's Drug Guide UR - ER -