Cranberry

Cranberry

Cranberry
Cranberry, an over-the-counter herbal supplement, has been a natural remedy to treat urinary tract infections and kidney stones although there has been no documentation to prove its efficacy. These supplements contain moderate amounts of vitamin C and dietary fiber and are available in juices, supplements and other extract forms. Learn more about cranberry supplements from our experts.

Recently Answered

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    Orally, cranberry is usually well tolerated and certainly at a normal intake of 1-2 cups/day. However, in very large doses, for example 12-17 cups/day of juice, cranberry can cause gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea have also been reported with consumption of lower doses of cranberry juice cocktail, 2 cups/day, equivalent to about 4 oz. cranberry juice, for several weeks in pregnant women. Consuming more than 4 cups/day over a prolonged period of time might also increase the risk of uric acid kidney stone formation.

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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Cranberry supplements are not a substitute for prescription antibiotics and do not directly treat the bacterial infection that causes symptoms. People who have had kidney stones may not be good candidates for treatment with cranberry supplements. Pregnant women and nursing mothers may also need to avoid cranberry supplements. Some cranberry preparations may include alcohol or sugar, so people with diabetes or liver disease should consult their doctor before taking these supplements.
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Cranberry supplements are over-the-counter herbal preparations used by some people for urinary tract infections and kidney stones. Alternative health practitioners use cranberry products made from the North American fruiting shrub. Cranberry goes by several names, including American, Black, or Low Cranberry, as well as Bear Berry.
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    Alternative health practitioners use cranberry products to inhibit symptoms of bladder infections. People also use cranberry to ease symptoms of urinary tract infections and kidney stones. While cranberry does not cure bacterial infections, it is used to ease painful, burning urination. People with other bladder problems may also use cranberry to reduce bothersome urine odors.
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    Many types of cranberry supplements are available. Most common are capsules or tablets, although cranberry also comes in liquids, teas, and tinctures. People using one form of supplement should not add another form without talking to their healthcare provider. Always follow your practitioner's directions and the package instructions.
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Because it is a supplement, cranberry is not screened for safety by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There may be a risk of increased kidney stones when using cranberry. Pregnant and nursing women should consult their health care providers with any questions about possible risks. People taking cranberry supplements may experience allergy symptoms such as trouble breathing, chest tightness or pain, itchy skin, hives, swelling, and rash. Get immediate medical attention for any allergic reaction. 
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    As with all supplements, check with you physician before you add supplements to the medications that are prescribed by your physician. The following are some of the potential problems with cranberry supplements. These do not represent all possible considerations.

    • If you take coumadin (warfarin) which slows blood clotting, check with your physician before adding cranberry supplements.
    • If you have an allergy to aspirin should check with your physician before taking a cranberry supplement.
    • If you are prone to kidney stones, check with your physician before taking cranberry supplements.  

     

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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    The amount and type of cranberry supplements people should take depend on several factors, including the potency of the preparation and the symptoms you are treating. Follow the instructions provided by your doctors and pharmacist. Always follow the package directions.
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    It is possible that cranberry supplements may harm a developing fetus, so it is best not to use them unless your doctor has approved. Similarly, the amount of cranberry that might be transferred to a baby through breast milk is unknown, so nursing mothers should avoid cranberry supplements until they can talk with their doctor. If you are interested in using cranberry supplements, talk to your physician.
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    It is always wise to tell your doctor about any supplements you are taking. People who take blood thinners, ulcer medications, or antacids should definitely talk to their doctor about taking cranberry supplements. Women who are pregnant, expect to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding should mention cranberry supplementation to their doctor.