This medication is used to improve the symptoms of a certain blood flow problem in the legs/arms (intermittent claudication due to occlusive artery disease). Pentoxifylline can decrease the muscle aching/pain/cramps during exercise, including walking, that occur with intermittent claudication. Pentoxifylline belongs to a class of drugs known as hemorrheologic agents. It works by helping blood flow more easily through narrowed arteries. This increases the amount of oxygen that can be delivered by the blood when the muscles need more (such as during exercise) thereby increasing walking distance and duration.
Take this medication by mouth with food, usually 3 times daily or as directed by your doctor.
Do not crush or chew this medication. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop this medication without consulting your doctor. Improvement in symptoms can occur in 2-4 weeks, but it may take up to 8 weeks to get the full benefit.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: fast/irregular heartbeat, easy bruising/bleeding.
Seek immediate medical attention if this rare but very serious side effect occurs: chest pain.
In the US -
Before taking pentoxifylline, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to caffeine, or theophylline; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: recent stroke, recent bleeding in the eye, kidney problems, liver problems, recent major surgery, stomach ulcer.
This drug may rarely make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: theophylline, other drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising (including antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/ketorolac/naproxen, "blood thinners" such as warfarin/dabigatran).
Aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding when used with this medication. However, if your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: flushing, severe dizziness, seizures, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, fever, agitation.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood counts, blood pressure) should be performed from time to time to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Lifestyle changes that may help reduce the symptoms of intermittent claudication include stopping smoking, exercising regularly, and losing weight. Ask your doctor about lifestyle changes that may benefit you.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Information last revised May 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet