ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
Winter Is Tough on Feet
Sea Worm Inspires Novel Bone Glue
CANCER
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
CAREGIVING
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Low Vitamin A, C Intake Tied to Asthma Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Former Inmates at Increased Risk for High Blood Pressure
Arsenic in Drinking Water Raises Diabetes Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
FITNESS
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Higher Fitness Levels Tied to Lower Heart, Death Risks
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Eat Light - Live Longer
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
New Options Offered for Sleep Apnea
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Treat Kids to a Safe Halloween
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
The Unmedicated Mind
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Any Old Cane Won't Do
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
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Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug

TUESDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- People taking the immunosuppressant cyclosporine should avoid consuming licorice because it may weaken the drug's effectiveness and possibly lead to deadly consequences, new research suggests.

Chemists in Taiwan report that lab rats taking cyclosporine -- commonly used to help prevent organ rejection in transplant patients -- who were feed licorice or its main active ingredient, glycyrrhizin, did not absorb the medication well. For a transplant patient on cyclosporine, lowered levels of the medication could lead to rejection of the new organ, followed by illness and even death, said the researchers, who were to present their findings Tuesday at the American Chemical Society's annual meeting in Salt Lake City.

"I would suggest that transplant patients avoid taking licorice," researcher Pei-Dawn Lee Chao, a chemist at China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan, said in an American Chemical Society news release.

The researchers, who are trying to determine why licorice interfered with the drug's absorption, said they didn't know how much licorice might cause a toxic reaction in humans.

Cyclosporine is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile myositis and various skin conditions, and it is known to interact poorly with some medicines, foods and herbs. St. John's wort, onions and ginger, for example, can also lower cyclosporine levels in the blood, while grapefruit juice can sending cyclosporine levels soaring.

Licorice has been reported to possibly interfere with high blood pressure medications, aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, insulin and oral contraceptives. The herb has been popular in folk medicine for centuries and is used by some combat stomach ulcers, bronchitis and sore throat. Because of its sweetness, glycyrrhizin is sometimes used in candy, teas and other foods.

More information

The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has more about licorice.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: American Chemical Society, news release, March 24, 2009

Last Updated: March 24, 2009

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