pentoxifylline, Trental

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GENERIC NAME: pentoxifylline


DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Pentoxifylline is an oral drug used for treating symptoms of intermittent claudication caused by peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD 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. PAD 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.



PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 400 mg

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

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

DOSING: The recommended dose of Pentoxifylline is 400 mg three times daily with meals.

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.

PREGNANCY: Pentoxifylline has not been adequately studied in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: Pentoxifylline is excreted in breast milk and may cause adverse effects in the infant.

SIDE EFFECTS: Common adverse effects include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, blurred vision, agitation, insomnia and drowsiness. Rarely, patients may experience abnormal heart beats, elevation of liver function tests, jaundice, and hepatitis.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Last Editorial Review: 3/27/2009

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