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Side Effects of Cranberry Tablets

author image Carole Anne Tomlinson
Carole Anne Tomlinson is a registered nurse with experience in rehabilitation, nutrition, chemical dependency, diabetes and health problems related to the elderly. Tomlinson holds a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and is presently working on her master's degree in nursing. Her screenplays have been viewed by Merchant Ivory, Angela Lansbury and Steven King's associates.
Side Effects of Cranberry Tablets
A bowl of fresh cranberries. Photo Credit: matka_Wariatka/iStock/Getty Images

Cranberries may have therapeutic effects on the liver and stomach, as well as helping individuals with diabetes and urinary problems. Cranberry also may possess anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. This fruit, which comes from North America, has a variety of names including bog cranberry, American cranberry as well as its Latin name vaccinium macrocarpon. If you do not want to eat the bitter cranberries, you may derive their purported effects from taking a supplement of them. No matter how you ingest cranberries, you may experience side effects.

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Diarrhea and Upset Stomach

You may develop a bout of diarrhea as a common side effect of cranberry supplements because of the irritating effect on your intestinal lining. Any form of supplement including cranberry tablets may produce a disturbance in your digestive tract that may result in diarrhea while you adjust to it. This side effect should stop after a day or so. If it becomes bothersome and continues, call your doctor for help.You may also experience nausea or stomach upset when taking cranberry supplements. By consuming the cranberry supplement with food, you may avoid this side effect. Food will mix with the supplement in your stomach, preventing it from irritating your stomach lining. This may help you to feel better and avoid the nausea or stomach upset. If you do experience this side effect despite taking the cranberry supplement with food, you should notify your doctor at once and seek advice. Stop taking the cranberry supplement until you talk to your doctor.

Kidney Stones

Because of the high levels of oxalates in cranberries, the risk of having kidney stones increases. Oxalates occur in some foods and can cause the creation of calcium oxalate kidney stones that can produce excruciating pain when you need to pass them from your kidneys to your bladder and out the urethra. This tiny tube that carries urine from your bladder out of your body can become irritated and damaged because of kidney stones. Speak with your doctor about the potential for cranberry tablets to create kidney stones in your body.

Antacid Nullification

Cranberry supplements may decrease the effectiveness of antacid medications. Cranberries contain high levels of acids, and calcium, the chief ingredient in some antacids, is a non-acid base used to mix with the acids in your stomach to neutralize them. Take precautions when using cranberry tablets if you have a history of gastric reflux and use antacids to help combat it.


Cranberry tablets may cause serious side effects when combined with medicines such as warfarin. This medication is used to thin blood and decrease the risk of blood clots. Combining cranberry with warfarin may cause serious bleeding in some people. Talk to your doctor about your medications before you take cranberry tablets.

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