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Severe hypokalaemia with paralysis induced by small doses of liquorice.
  1. A. M. Cumming,
  2. K. Boddy,
  3. J. J. Brown,
  4. R. Fraser,
  5. A. F. Lever,
  6. P. L. Padfield,
  7. J. I. Robertson


    A patient, who presented with a flaccid quadriplegia due to profound hypokalaemia, is described. Hypokalaemia and myoglobinuria were caused by the ingestion of small amounts of liquorice contained in a laxative preparation. Subsequent controlled administration of small amounts of this preparation induced marked hypokalaemia. This was associated with sodium retention and potassium loss confirming a mineralocorticoid-like action. The sodium retention was associated with suppression of plasma levels of renin and aldosterone.

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