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Hazel595
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi there all,

The sister at my anticoag clinic had a chat with me about cranberry juice this morning and has asked me to limit or stop drinking it all together for the moment. There is some scare on about it and it is under investigation she is speaking with the hematologist this week about it and said to phone next week with my self test INR results and we will discuss the cranberry juice again then.

I have been having a glass of cranberry juice every morning for the last 3 years on the advice of the MS nurse to keep bladder infections and cystitis at bay. Here is the article I think my anticoag nurse was referring to:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3120206.stm

[Cranberry juice clot drug warning

Patients taking the anti-clotting drug warfarin have been warned to limit or avoid cranberry juice consumption.

The Committee on Safety of Medicines is concerned that mixing the two increases the risk of haemorrhage.

It has received five reports which suggest that cranberry juice acts to increase the potency of the drug.

One man died after his blood clotting levels changed dramatically six weeks after starting to drink the juice.

In a statement, the committee said: "Until this possible interaction between cranberry juice and warfarin has been investigated further, it would be prudent for patients taking warfarin to be advised to limit or avoid drinking it."

Cranberry juice has boomed in popularity in recent years and is often used by women to prevent cystitis.

However, it contains chemicals called flavonoids, which are known to inhibit the action of subtances which the body uses to break down warfarin.

Warfarin is used to prevent blood clots from forming or growing larger.

It is often prescribed for patients with certain types of irregular heartbeat and after a heart attack or heart valve replacement surgery.

However, it is known to interact with many other drugs, which either increase or reduce its potency.

Modern anti-depressants, for example, can enhance the anticoagulant effect, while the herbal remedy St John's Wort diminishes it].

It's quite scary - Its up to yourself to discuss the issue of whether or not to drink cranbery juice with your own doctor and/or anticoag clinic.
Hope the information off the BBC health site helps you make up your own mind.

xxxxxhazel
 

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Thanks Hazel!!

I love Cranberry juice--now I don't know what do think (and does that, by extension, include things like blueberries/juice as well, I wonder?).

Also wonder if that is behind my incredibly variable INR? HMMNN.
 

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I have never had that juice, but thanks for the warning. I did try the capsules once after a session of bladder infections to try and stop them, they did not work.
 

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So far as I can tell, anybody who takes any medication or has any medical problem should just give up everything that tastes good. My deepest sympathies to all who are facing the possibility of giving up one more tasty thing to accommodate medical issues.

Sunny
 

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Hazel595
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hi glad

I originally saw something about the juice on an aps site but didn't take a great deal of notice (I love my cranberry juice).

When the nurse at the coag clinic told me not to drink it I wanted to see the warning in black and white for myself thats why i thought others would like to see the original article.

xxxxxhazel
 

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The thing is not to change your diet when on anti coagulants.

A food item that's part of your regular intake will be factored in to the INR calculation. So if you regularly drink cranberry juice there shouldn't be a problem, in theory.

Another indication that what's " natural" can be illadvised for people with certain conditions. It's amazing how many herbal remedies " work" by thinning the blood.

Cheers
Clare
 

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Yep, I'm with Clare on this one, in theory it shouldn't be a problem if intake is kept stable.

But, seeing a couple of people have died from bleeds caused from inr going wild after cranberry, it pays to be cautious.

I always think it is quite revealing the way that doctors are quite happy to accomodate interactions between other drugs they prescribe and coumadin/warfarin, but if any food/vitamin supplement or herbal remedy interacts they just say DON'T TAKE IT.

why not, I always wonder, just keep it consistant.

I have to take 15-19mg of coumadin to keep my inr in range due to interactions between other drugs I am on. If I can adjust around my medication, surely it could be adjusted around a morning glass of cranberry juice ?

This is not really a biggie for me as personally I find cranberry too sweet for my taste, but if I was having lots of uti's I would be been on drinking it as it has a very good reputation for utis

just thinking out loud here

raglet
 

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Thanks for the information on the Cranberry juice. I too have been drinking the juice for years for bladder purposes. I will be sure to ask my doctor about it.

Be blessed!
 

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Hazel595
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi there sunhine

Since I did the post about the cranberry juice warning I have read lots of other articles about it. Although it says that the cranberry juice acts to increase the potency of warfarin I still have a small glass each morning. I feel confident that nothing will happen - I like cranberry juice and like anything 'taken in moderation' it soon worked round the warfarin.

I must add that I am able to self test which means I can find out what my INR is anytime day or night so am more confident about it. If I saw that my INR was increased or too low I would adjust my warfarin to compensate.

Of course self dosing and self testing are not for everyone but it does suit me. I, at long last feel more in control of at least one of the diseases I have.

Don't give up your cranberry juice altogether if you like it especially if you suffer with UT problems cranberry juice has been proven to be of help. Just take it in moderation and you can always discuss it with whoever is looking after you anticoagulation if you have any worries.

xxxhazel
 

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Hazel.....Thank you for the information on cranberry juice. I have had many UTI, and I do drink it. I to will ask my doctor about it. Huggs, Michelle :halo:
 

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thanks Hazel ,


I don't take coumadin, I'm on asa and plavix but I have many patients in hospital that do take it. Sometimes we have patients who were always stable at home and after coming to hospital even their low dose will cause a critically high INR. Many times the MD can't explain. I will watch my patients diet for the type of juice a little closer now. THANKS FOR THE INFO

:wave: Hokey :nurse:
 

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A change from the normal diet can cause variations, but it seems to happen anyway even if diet is consistent. Ask about herbals too - many of them have a blood thinning effect.

Clare
 

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Hazel595
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi

Just wanted to add that my warfarin/coumadin medication now has printed on the packet not to drink cranberry juice whilst on warfarin and that is what the pharmacist also made very clear to me even thought she knows i have been taking warfarin for a couple of years. They have to cover there backs.
xxxhazel
 

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Hello,

Thank you for passing the information about cranberry juice onto us. I would have never guessed that! Herbs is another thing to watch. Thanks for the information.
Janice
 

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:tantrum: have you ever noticed that cranberry juice is the first thing they tell you to drink alot of. when you are sick with a kidney infections,ironic as hell huh!!it don't matter what or how safe something is its gonna do something else to another person :woohoo:
 

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I am on Coumadin.. and at Thanksgiving holiday they told me not to consume a large amount of Cranberry sauce however it was not a large scare...

She said just eat the same amount of greens,etc. that can change your coumadin a day (ofcourse limited)

I drink cranberry juice a lot... and my coumadin level has not been affected..

This could just be me.

AL
 

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Rosie, so long as you continue to drink a lot of cranberry juice, you should be ok. Your inr will already have been adjusted around your c. juice intake.

Should you suddenly decide to STOP drinking it, or drink significantly less, then you should monitor your inr carefully as you will likely need to adjust your inr to the lowered intake of cranberry juice.

I am a great believer in adjusting our coumadin to our diet, rather than the other way around, main thing is to be aware when our diet changes and monitor the inr for changes

hth, and enjoy that cranberry juice

raglet
 
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