Cranberry does not affect prothrombin time in male subjects on warfarin.
There have been case reports suggesting that cranberry beverages may interact with warfarin. To date, no research study has been conducted to examine the potential interaction of cranberry and warfarin. The current study is a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study to investigate the effect of cranberry juice on prothrombin time as assessed by the international normalized ratio (INR). Seven subjects with atrial fibrillation on a stable dose of warfarin for 3 months were randomized to consume 250 mL of cranberry juice for 7 days, then placebo for 7 days, or vice versa. The washout period was 7 days. The prothrombin time/INR was measured at baseline, and on days 2, 4, 7, 10, 14, 16, 18, 21, and 24. Data were analyzed by the Student t test for paired values. The baseline INR was 2.28+/-0.54 for the cranberry group and 2.13+/-0.50 for the placebo group. For all test points, the INR did not change significantly from baseline. At day 7 on cranberry juice, the INR was 2.23+/-0.53 for cranberry first group and 2.16+/-0.40 for placebo first group. The mean differences between the cranberry and placebo groups were not statistically significant. Our results suggest no significant interaction between the daily consumption of 250 mL cranberry juice and warfarin. When counseling patients on dietary changes necessary during warfarin treatment, it does not seem necessary to eliminate daily cranberry juice consumption at amounts of 250 mL, but the INR should be followed up closely.