pentoxifylline, Trental, Pentoxil

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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GENERIC NAME: pentoxifylline

BRAND NAME: Trental, Pentoxil

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Pentoxifylline is an oral drug used for treating symptoms of intermittent claudication caused by peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Peripheral artery disease is caused by the build-up of cholesterol plaques in arteries of the legs. Plaque blocks arteries, reducing the flow of oxygen-carrying blood through the arteries to the muscles. This causes pain upon walking and reduces mobility. Peripheral artery disease is similar to coronary artery disease in which plaque builds up in heart arteries, causing chest pain (angina) because of a reduced supply of oxygen to the heart's muscle. Pentoxifylline, through unknown mechanisms, decreases the "stickiness" (viscosity) of blood and thereby improves its flow through arteries. This increases the flow of blood and oxygen to muscles and helps patients with intermittent claudication. The FDA approved pentoxifylline in August 1984.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 400 mg

STORAGE: Pentoxifylline should be stored at room temperature between 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F), in a light resistant container.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Pentoxifylline is used for the treatment of intermittent claudication caused by peripheral arterial disease.

DOSING: The recommended dose of pentoxifylline is 400 mg three times daily with meals. The dose may be reduced to 400 mg twice daily to reduce adverse effects.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Pentoxifylline reduces the breakdown of theophylline (Theo-Dur, Respbid, Slo-Bid, Theo-24, Theolair, Uniphyl, Slo-Phyllin) in the liver, increasing blood levels and side effects of theophylline. Combining pentoxifylline with warfarin (Coumadin) may increase the risk of bleeding. The mechanism for this interaction is unknown.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/27/2014

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