What are the Side Effects of Taking Cranberry Pills

Cranberries are small, tart, bright-red berries that are a popular treat, especially during the holiday season. They’re packed with antioxidants and provide many health benefits. Cranberry pills, which are made from dried, powdered cranberries, offer an easy way to enjoy these benefits without having to eat cranberries every day. Cranberry is native to northeastern and northcentral parts of the United States. The shrub has small, dark green leaves, pink flowers, and dark red fruit that are egg-shaped. Cranberry is most commonly used for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs).Cranberry is also used for kidney stones, enlarged prostate, common cold, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. In foods, cranberry fruit is used in cranberry juice, cranberry juice cocktail, jelly, and sauce. This articles reviews the most common side effects of Cranberry pills

 

How does it work?

People used to think that cranberry worked for urinary tract infections by making the urine acidic and, therefore, unlikely to support the growth of bacteria. But researchers don’t believe this explanation any more. They now think that some of the chemicals in cranberries keep bacteria from sticking to the cells that line the urinary tract where they can multiply. Cranberry, however, does not seem to have the ability to release bacteria which are already stuck to these cells. This may explain why cranberry is possibly effective in preventing urinary tract infections, but possibly ineffective in treating them. Cranberry, as well as many other fruits and vegetables, contains significant amounts of salicylic acid, which is an important ingredient in aspirin. Drinking cranberry juice regularly increases the amount of salicylic acid in the body. Salicylic acid can reduce swelling, prevent blood clots, and can have antitumor effects. READ:5 Strategies For Getting The Best Out Of Supplements

 

What are the Side Effects of Taking Cranberry Pills

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking cranberry for therapeutic reasons if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

 

Aspirin allergy: Cranberries contain significant amounts of salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is similar to aspirin. Avoid drinking large quantities of cranberry juice if you are allergic to aspirin.

 

Inflammation of the stomach lining (Atrophic gastritis): Cranberry pills might increase how much vitamin B12 the body absorbs for people with atrophic gastritis.

 

Diabetes: Avoid  Sweetened Cranberry  pills and products If you have diabetes.

 

Low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria): Cranberry pills and extract might increase how much vitamin B12 the body absorbs for people with low levels of stomach acid.

 

Kidney stones: Cranberry pills and cranberry extracts contain a large amount of a chemical called oxalate. In fact, there is some evidence that some cranberry extract tablets can boost the level of oxalate in the urine by as much as 43%. Since kidney stones are made primarily from oxalate combined with calcium, healthcare providers worry that cranberry might increase the risk of kidney stones. To be on the safe side, avoid taking cranberry extract products or drinking a lot of cranberry juice if you have a history of kidney stones.

 

Can Cranberry pills interact with other medications I am taking?

Cranberry might decrease how quickly the body breaks down atorvastatin (Lipitor). Drinking cranberry juice while taking these medications might increase the effects and side effects of atorvastatin (Lipitor). Avoid drinking large amounts of cranberry juice if you are taking atorvastatin (Lipitor). Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Cranberry might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking cranberry along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking cranberry, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some medications that are changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.

Nifedipine (Procardia)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Cranberry might decrease how quickly the body breaks down some medications that are broken down by the liver, including nifedipine (Procardia). In theory, drinking cranberry juice while taking nifedipine might increase the effects and side effects of nifedipine (Procardia).

Warfarin (Coumadin)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider. Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Cranberry might increase how long warfarin (Coumadin) is in the body, and increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. But, research in this area is not consistent. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.

Diclofenac (Voltaren, others)Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Cranberry might decrease how quickly the body breaks down some medications that are broken down by the liver, including diclofenac (Voltaren, others). In theory, drinking cranberry juice while taking diclofenac might increase the effects and side effects of diclofenac.

 

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates)Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Some research suggests that cranberry might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking cranberry along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. But, research in this area is not consistent. Before taking cranberry, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some medications that are changed by the liver include amitriptyline (Elavil), diazepam (Valium), zileuton (Zyflo), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Voltaren), fluvastatin (Lescol), glipizide (Glucotrol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), phenytoin (Dilantin), piroxicam (Feldene), tamoxifen (Nolvadex), tolbutamide (Tolinase), torsemide (Demadex), warfarin (Coumadin), and others. READ: Facts About Frequent Urination in Men and Women

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