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bilberry

bilberry

Pronunciation: BILL beh ree

What is the most important information I should know about bilberry?

Multum donot

Do not take bilberry without first talking to your doctor if you have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder; if you are taking a medicine to prevent blood clots; or if you are taking other medications, herbs, antioxidants, or health supplements (these may also affect blood clotting). Bilberry may affect the time it takes for the blood to clot.

Bilberry has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of bilberry may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

What is bilberry?

The use of bilberry in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

Bilberry is also known as Vaccinium myrtillus, bog bilberries, blueberries (variety of), and whortleberries.

Bilberry has been used most commonly for diarrhea and mild inflammation of the mouth and throat. Other uses of bilberry have included kidney and urinary tract problems, arthritis, gout, skin problems, and declining vision.

Bilberry has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of bilberry may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Bilberry may also have uses other than those listed in this medication guide.

Who should not take bilberry?

Multum donot

Do not take bilberry without first talking to your doctor if you have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder; if you are taking a medicine to prevent blood clots; or if you are taking other medications, herbs, antioxidants, or health supplements (these may also affect blood clotting). Bilberry may affect the time it takes for the blood to clot.

Before taking bilberry, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional if you have allergies (especially to plants), have any medical condition, or if you take other medicines or other herbal/health supplements. Bilberry may not be recommended in some situations.

Multum nopreg

Do not take bilberry without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. It is not known whether bilberry will harm an unborn baby.

Multum nobrfeed

Do not take bilberry without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. It is also not known whether bilberry will harm a nursing infant.

There is no information available regarding the use of bilberry by children. Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without first talking to the child's doctor.

How should I take bilberry?

The use of bilberry in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

If you choose to take bilberry, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Standardized extracts, tinctures, and solid formulations of herbal/health supplements may provide a more reliable dose of the product.

Multum water

Take the pill forms of bilberry with a full glass of water.

To ensure the correct dose, measure the liquid forms of bilberry with a dropper or a dose-measuring spoon or cup.

Some forms of bilberry can be brewed to form a tea for drinking.

Multum external

Topical forms of bilberry are intended for external use only.

Multum donot

Do not use different formulations (e.g., tablets, liquids, teas, and others) of bilberry at the same time, unless specifically directed to do so by a health care professional. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose of bilberry.

Store bilberry as directed on the package. In general, bilberry should be protected from light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

No information is available regarding a missed dose of bilberry. Consult your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional if you require further information.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a bilberry overdose are not known.

What should I avoid while taking bilberry?

There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while taking bilberry, unless otherwise directed by your health care provider.

What are the possible side effects of bilberry?

Multum emt

Although rare, allergic reactions to bilberry may occur. Stop taking bilberry and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

Other less serious side effects have not been reported, although they may occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect bilberry?

Multum donot

Do not take bilberry without first talking to your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • warfarin (Coumadin);
  • aspirin;
  • a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, others), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Anaprox, others), ketoprofen (Orudis KT, Orudis), indomethacin (Indocin), etodolac (Lodine), nabumetone (Relafen), oxaprozin (Daypro), piroxicam (Feldene), sulindac (Clinoril), tolmetin (Tolectin), and others;
  • ardeparin (Normiflo);
  • dalteparin (Fragmin);
  • danaparoid (Orgaran);
  • enoxaparin (Lovenox);
  • heparin; or
  • other herbs, antioxidants, or health supplements (these may affect blood clotting).

You may not be able to take bilberry, or you may require special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Interactions between bilberry and other prescription or over-the-counter medicines or herbal/health supplements have not been reported. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional before taking bilberry if you are taking any other medicines or supplements.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider may have more information about bilberry.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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