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Pilot Study to Evaluate Compliance and Tolerability of Cranberry Capsules in Pregnancy for the Prevention of Asymptomatic Bacteriuria

Wing DA, Rumney PJ, Hindra S, Guzman L, Le J, Nageotte M
J Altern Complement Med 21(11):700-6

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the compliance with and tolerability of daily cranberry capsule ingestion for asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) prevention in pregnancy.
DESIGN: A total of 49 pregnant women from two sites were randomly assigned to cranberry or matching placebo, two doses daily, at gestational ages less than 16 weeks. Patients were followed monthly for urinary tract infection until delivery. Up to seven monthly visits were scheduled for each patient. Delivery data were evaluated.
RESULTS: Of 38 evaluable patients, the mean compliance rate over the study period was 82% (range, 20%-100%). This compliance rate and the 74% of patients achieving good (>75%) compliance were similar between those who received cranberry capsules and placebo. Compliance evaluation revealed that most patients stopped capsule consumption after 34-38 weeks of participation. Multivariate logistic regression and longitudinal analysis showed a significant interaction time effect with cranberry treatment. However, cranberry consumption was not a significant predictor of gastrointestinal intolerance or study withdrawal. Although 30% of patients withdrew for various reasons, only 1 withdrew because of intolerance to the cranberry capsules. Loss to follow-up was mostly due to provider change (9 of 49 [18%]) and therapy disinterest (4 of 49 [8%]). Seven cases of ASB occurred in 5 patients: 2 of 24 (8%) in the cranberry group and 3 of 25 (12%) in the placebo group. No cases of cystitis or pyelonephritis were observed.
CONCLUSION: One third of pregnant women could not complete the study protocol for various reasons. Compliance with and tolerability of cranberry capsule ingestion appear good; these capsules provide a potentially effective means to prevent ASB in pregnancy. Further studies with large samples are necessary to confirm the findings.