GERD Home > Licorice Side Effects
Although it seems like a harmless substance, licorice can cause potentially serious problems. The glycyrrhizin component is thought to cause these side effects. Notify your healthcare provider immediately if you develop any of these serious side effects while you are consuming real licorice, such as an irregular heart rhythm, muscle weakness, or allergic reactions.
Does Licorice Cause Side Effects?Real licorice products (including some candies, beverages, supplements, and extracts) can cause significant side effects. However, many "licorice" products contain little or no real licorice. For instance, red licorice does not contain any real licorice, and some black licorice products contain anise flavoring instead of licorice.
Serious Side Effects of LicoriceEven though it seems like a harmless substance, licorice can cause some dangerous side effects. You should immediately report any of these side effects to your healthcare provider. These side effects include but are not limited to:
- Water retention
- Rapid weight gain
- Swelling of the feet or hands
- Difficulty breathing
- Low blood potassium (hypokalemia)
- An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- Severe muscle pain
- Signs of hormonal changes, such as:
- Missed periods (in women)
- A low sex drive
- Impotence (in men)
- Muscle weakness
- Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
- Swelling of the mouth or throat
- Difficulty breathing.