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Bitter Melon

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 16, 2020.

What are other common names?

  • Momordica charantia
  • African Cucumber
  • Ampalaya
  • Art Pumpkin
  • Balsam Apple
  • Balsam Pear
  • Balsambirne
  • Balsamine
  • Balsamo
  • Bitter Apple
  • Bitter Cucumber
  • Bitter Gourd
  • Bitter Melon
  • Bitter Squash
  • Bittergurke
  • Carilla Cundeamor
  • Carilla Fruit
  • Carilla Gourd
  • Cerasee
  • Margose
  • Melon Amer
  • Vegetable Insulin
  • Wild Cucumber

What is this product used for?

Bitter melon is a vegetable. Some people use it as a medicine but science does not support its use for health problems.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with other drugs or natural products.

  • This product may interfere with some lab tests. Be sure to talk with your doctor about this and all drugs you are taking.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor that you take this product if you are scheduled for surgery or tests.

  • Do not use this product if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon. Use birth control you can trust while taking this product.

  • Do not take this product if you are breastfeeding.

  • Do not take this product if you were born with a condition called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs for blood sugar problems. These are drugs like glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (Diabeta), rosiglitazone (Avandia), repaglinide (Prandin), or insulin.

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:

    • Liver problems

    • Metabolic disorders

    • Diabetes

    • Infection

  • Keep hard candies, glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or juice on hand for low blood sugar.

What should I watch for?

  • Stomach cramps

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away.

  • Signs of liver problems. These include upset stomach or throwing up, belly pain, feeling tired, dark urine, yellow skin or eyes, not hungry.

  • Signs of low blood sugar. These include hunger, dizziness, shaking, a fast heartbeat, confusion, or sweating.

  • Very bad belly pain

  • Very bad loose stools

  • Very bad headache

Last Reviewed Date


Consumer information use

This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your healthcare provider. Only your healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to provide advice that is right for you. You should not rely on this information in deciding whether or not to use, or accept your healthcare provider’s advice regarding use of, any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices. This information does not endorse any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information. It does NOT include all information about natural products, possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to you. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about your health and treatment options.


Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

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