Licorice Poisoning Medication

Updated: Apr 11, 2022
  • Author: Seth Schonwald, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Sage W Wiener, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and to prevent complications. Administration of potassium-sparing diuretics that are aldosterone antagonists can counteract the cortisol activation of mineralocorticoid receptors caused by chronic licorice ingestion.


Diuretics, Potassium-Sparing

Class Summary

These agents may be used to correct potassium deficiency or fluid/electrolyte imbalance.

Spironolactone (Aldactone)

Spironolactone competes with aldosterone for receptor sites in distal renal tubules by increasing water and sodium chloride excretion while retaining potassium and hydrogen ions.

Triamterene (Dyrenium)

Triamterene is a potassium-sparing diuretic with relatively weak natriuretic properties. It exerts a diuretic effect on the distal renal tubule, inhibiting reabsorption of sodium in exchange for potassium and hydrogen. It increases sodium excretion and reduces the excessive loss of potassium and hydrogen associated with hydrochlorothiazide. This agent is not a competitive antagonist of mineralocorticoids; a potassium-conserving effect is observed in patients with Addison disease (ie, without aldosterone).