Licorice Poisoning Treatment & Management

Updated: Feb 09, 2017
  • Author: Seth Schonwald, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Asim Tarabar, MD  more...
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Approach Considerations

Prehospital care consists of supportive treatment, including airway, breathing, and circulatory support (ABCs), as clinically indicated. Cardiac monitoring should be performed if clinically indicated.

Emergency department care is as follows:

  • Toxicity only develops after chronic excessive ingestion; no specific monitoring is needed after a single acute overdose

  • In cases of suspected chronic toxicity, monitor electrolytes, especially potassium

  • Supplement potassium, as indicated

  • Consider potassium-sparing diuretics, as needed

  • Treat rhabdomyolysis if present (eg, hydration, alkalinization of urine, mannitol)

  • Monitor for and treat electrolyte-induced dysrhythmias.

  • Monitor for and treat pulmonary edema and respiratory muscle weakness

Consider admitting patients with any of the following:

  • Severe electrolyte abnormalities

  • Symptomatic hypokalemia

  • Severe or symptomatic hypertension

  • Progressive weakness or paralysis

  • Rhabdomyolysis

  • Pulmonary edema

Consultations with an endocrinologist and a toxicologist may be helpful. Frequent assessment of hypertension and hypokalemia, as well as the need for further potassium supplements and diuretics, may be included in outpatient care.