You can actually overdose on black licorice

Trick or treatment for an overdose?

If you go overboard with black licorice, it could be the latter.

That’s the Food and Drug Administration’s cautionary message as Americans shell out a monster-sized $2.7 billion on Halloween candy.

Gorging on old-fashioned black licorice can spell serious health problems, including irregular heart rhythm, especially for fortysomethings.

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“If you’re 40 or older, eating 2 ounces of black licorice a day for at least two weeks could land you in the hospital with an irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia,” FDA experts warn.

The culprit is the compound glycyrrhizin, a sweetening compound derived from licorice root.

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A compound in black licorice is linked with serious health issues.

(lpm12/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

“Glycyrrhizin can cause potassium levels in the body to fall,” the FDA notes. “When that happens, some people experience abnormal heart rhythms, as well as high blood pressure, edema (swelling), lethargy, and congestive heart failure.”

Potassium levels return to normal once you stop overeating it, but experts advise not to go overboard in the first place.

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Dara Kass, M.D., associate professor of emergency medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center, hasn’t encountered a licorice overdose.

“The biggest (health issue) is always allergic reactions,” she told the Daily News. “Mostly to nuts.”

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