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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names:

Generic Name: bilberry (Pronunciation: BILL beh ree)

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.

What are the possible side effects of bilberry ()?

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 is the most important information I should know about bilberry ()?

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.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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