Pentoxifylline

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Generic Name: Pentoxifylline Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Pentoxifylline used for?

Pentoxifylline is used to improve the symptoms of a certain blood flow problem in the legs/arms (intermittent claudication due to occlusive arterial 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.

How should I take Pentoxifylline?

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.

How do I store Pentoxifylline?

Pentoxifylline is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Pentoxifylline in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Pentoxifylline that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Pentoxifylline down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Pentoxifylline?

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. Alcohol or marijuana can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Pentoxifylline during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Pentoxifylline. Pentoxifylline is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Pentoxifylline?

Nausea, vomiting, gas, belching, and dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

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 right away 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.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Pentoxifylline?

Some products that may interact with this drug include: 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.

Pentoxifylline may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Pentoxifylline?

Pentoxifylline may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Pentoxifylline?

Pentoxifylline may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Pentoxifylline.

What is the dose of Pentoxifylline for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Intermittent Claudication

400 mg orally 3 times a day. If adverse effects develop, reducing the dose to 400 mg twice a day is recommended.

Renal Dose Adjustments

Creatine Clearance 10 to 50 mL/min:

400 mg orally twice a day. If adverse effects develop, reducing the dose to 400 mg once a day is recommended.

Creatine Clearance less than 10 mL/min:

400 mg orally once a day. Further dosage reduction may be required such as 200 mg once daily but current products (extended or controlled release; unscored) may require adaptation to 400 mg once every other day.

Note: Pentoxifylline is not eliminated unchanged in the urine; however, the pharmacologically active metabolite may accumulate in patients with renal impairment and add to pharmacologic and toxic effects.

Liver Dose Adjustments

400 mg orally twice a day. If adverse effects develop, reducing the dose to 400 mg once a day is recommended.

Dose Adjustments

In patients with both renal and liver dysfunction, the dose should be reduced to 400 mg orally once a day.

Precautions

Patients with impaired renal and/or liver function should be monitored closely for adverse effects.

Dialysis

Limited data suggest that pentoxifylline is moderately dialyzed during hemodialysis. Therefore, doses should follow hemodialysis sessions.

Other Comments

Pentoxifylline is preferably given with meals to decrease gastric irritation. Pentoxifylline should be given for at least 8 weeks to determine efficacy.

What is the dose of Pentoxifylline for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Pentoxifylline available?

Pentoxifylline is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral tablet, extended release,
  • Compounding powder.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Pentoxifylline, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: April 11, 2018 | Last Modified: April 11, 2018

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