Issue: 2005 > April > case report

Severe hypokalaemic paralysis and rhabdomyolysis due to ingestion of liquorice

A.E. van den Bosch, J.M. van der Klooster, D.M.H. Zuidgeest, R.J.Th. Ouwendijk, A. Dees


Chronic ingestion of liquorice induces a syndrome with
findings similar to those in primary hyperaldosteronism.
We describe a patient who, with a plasma K<sup>+</sup> of 1.8 mmol/l, showed a paralysis and severe rhabdomyolysis after the habitual consumption of natural liquorice. Liquorice has become widely available as a flavouring agent in foods and drugs. It is important for physicians to keep liquorice consumption in mind as a cause for hypokalaemic paralysis and rhabdomyolysis.