Pentoxifylline

Pentoxifylline reduces the symptoms of intermittent claudication (pain in the legs when walking) due to narrowing of blood vessels. May take up to 8 weeks to notice the effects of this medication.

Pentoxifylline Overview

Reviewed: September 17, 2013
Updated: 

Pentoxifylline is a prescription medication used to reduce the symptoms of intermittent claudication (pain in the legs when walking due to narrowing of blood vessels). Pentoxifylline belongs to a group of drugs called methylxanthine derivatives, which improve blood flow by decreasing the thickness of blood.

This medication comes in tablet form and is usually taken 3 times a day, with meals.

Common side effects of pentoxifylline include upset stomach, vomiting, gas, and headache. Pentoxifylline can also cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how pentoxifylline affects you.

 

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  • Other
  • Brain Ischemia
  • Diabetic Angiopathies
  • Diabetic Neuropathies
  • Gangrene
  • Impotence, Vasculogenic
  • Intermittent Claudication
  • Malaria, Cerebral
  • Stroke
  • Thrombosis
  • Vasculitis

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  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
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Pentoxifylline Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Pentoxifylline

Pentoxifylline is a prescription medication used to reduce the symptoms of intermittent claudication (pain in the legs when walking due to narrowing of blood vessels).

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Pentoxifylline Brand Names

Pentoxifylline may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Pentoxifylline Drug Class

Pentoxifylline is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Pentoxifylline

Serious side effects have been reported with pentoxifylline. See the “Drug Precautions” section.

Common side effects include:

  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • gas
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • chest pain
  • fast heartbeat

This is not a complete list of pentoxifylline side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pentoxifylline Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • anticoagulants or platelet aggregation inhibitors, especially warfarin (Coumadin)
  • drugs that contain theophylline
  • drugs that contain captopril (Capoten, Capozide) or nifedipine (Adalat, Adalat CC, Afeditab CR, Procardia, Procardia XL)

This is not a complete list of pentoxifylline drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Pentoxifylline Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with pentoxifylline including the following:

  • chest pain
  • fast heartbeat

Pentoxifylline can cause dizziness and drowsiness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

Do not take pentoxifylline if you:

  • are allergic to pentoxifylline or to any of its ingredients or to other methylxanthine derivatives, including caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine
  • have had a recent cerebral and/or retinal hemorrhage

Pentoxifylline Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of pentoxifylline, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking pentoxifylline, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to pentoxifylline or to any of its ingredients or to other methylxanthine derivatives, including caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine
  • have had a recent cerebral and/or retinal hemorrhage
  • have or have had kidney disease
  • are having surgery, including dental surgery
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Pentoxifylline and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Pentoxifylline falls into category C. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. No well-controlled studies have been done in humans, though. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.

Pentoxifylline and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Pentoxifylline has been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from pentoxifylline, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of this medication. The importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.

Pentoxifylline Usage

Take pentoxifylline exactly as prescribed.

Pentoxifylline comes in tablet form and is usually taken three times every day.

Take with meals to avoid an upset stomach.

Do not chew, divide, or break pentoxifylline tablets. Swallow tablets whole.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of pentoxifylline at the same time.

Pentoxifylline Dosage

Take pentoxifylline exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The pentoxifylline dose your doctor recommends will be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your age

The recommended dose range for pentoxifylline is 400 mg three times a day.

Pentoxifylline Overdose

If you take too much pentoxifylline, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

  • Store pentoxifylline at room temperature. Temperature may vary between 15-30°C (59-86°F).
  • Store pentoxifylline away from excess heat and moisture. Do not store it in the bathroom.
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.