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.
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.
Quick GuideHeart Disease Pictures Slideshow: Coronary Artery Disease
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.