What Is It?: Pentoxifylline decreases the “stickiness” (viscosity) of blood and thereby improves its flow. This increase blood flow helps patients with peripheral arterial disease to obtain better circulation and oxygen delivery to vital tissues. Pentoxifylline is used in patients to treat a condition of painful legs that develop with exercise because of inadequate circulation to the legs and feet.
How To Use: Pentoxifylline should be taken at doses specifically directed by the physician. Pentoxifylline may be taken with or without food. It may also be prepared in a transdermal cream or gel. When applying to the skin avoid contact with the eyes and wash hands after applying.
Possible Side Effects: Pentoxifylline is relatively safe and doses not interact with many other drugs. Pentoxifylline, however, can interfere with blood clotting, especially if taken with the blood thinner Coumadin. Pentoxifylline has been associated rarely with nausea, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, drowsiness, and loss of appetite. Increased blood pressure can occur and blood pressure is monitored.
Warning: Pentoxifylline is not be used in patients who have had recent brain hemorrhage. This medication is a relative of caffeine and theophylline and should be used cautiously in patients sensitive to these substances.
Storage: Keep in the original container. Keep out of the reach of children and pets. Capsules and tablets may be stored at room temperature. Some liquids should be stored in the refrigerator (see the prescription label.) Store all medicines away from excess heat and moisture. Do NOT store in the bathroom.
Note: If you miss a dose take it as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed one.