Bilberry

Generic Name: bilberry (Not applicable.)
Brand Name: Generics only. No brands available.

Bilberry is used for:

Eye conditions, including night blindness, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts; to decrease blood clotting; and for hemorrhoids. It is also promoted to improve circulation conditions in patients with varicose veins and atherosclerosis. Bilberry has been used for diarrhea, especially mild cases. It may have other uses as well. Check with your pharmacist for more details regarding the particular brand you use.

Bilberry is an herbal product. A substance in bilberry fruit strengthens capillary resistance and helps protect capillaries from damage by free radicals.

Do NOT use bilberry if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in bilberry
  • you are taking disulfiram (applies to bilberry liquid extracts or tinctures only)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using bilberry:

Some medical conditions may interact with bilberry. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have diabetes

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with bilberry. However, no specific interactions are known at this time.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if bilberry may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use bilberry:

Use bilberry as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Bilberry may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach.
  • Dosing depends on the use and the source of the product.
  • Use as directed on the package, unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.
  • If you miss taking a dose of bilberry for 1 or more days, there is no cause for concern. If your doctor recommended that you take it, try to remember your dose every day.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use bilberry.

Important safety information:

  • If you are taking this product for diarrhea and your symptoms do not improve within 3 or 4 days, contact your doctor. The fresh berries of bilberry extract produce a laxative effect and should not be used to treat diarrhea.
  • This product has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe and effective for any medical condition. The long-term safety of herbal products is not known. Before using any alternative medicine, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using this product.
  • Diabetes patients - Bilberry extracts may lower your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely and ask your doctor before adjusting the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Use bilberry with caution in CHILDREN.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the risks of using this product during pregnancy. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using this product, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of bilberry:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dry eyes; dry mouth; upset stomach.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include unexplained weight loss or weakness; unusual tiredness; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Proper storage of bilberry:

Store at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and light unless otherwise directed on the package label. Do not store in the bathroom. Most herbal products are not in childproof containers. Keep bilberry out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about bilberry, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Bilberry is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take bilberry or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about bilberry. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to bilberry. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using bilberry.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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