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This medication is used to improve the symptoms of a certain blood flow problem in the legs/arms (intermittent claudication due to occlusive artery 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 to use 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.

What is pentoxifylline?

Pentoxifylline changes the shape of red blood cells in your blood. This makes it easier for these blood cells to fit into small arteries (blood vessels).

Pentoxifylline is used to improve blood flow. Improved blood flow helps to reduce leg cramps and other symptoms of vascular disease (disease related to veins and arteries).

Pentoxifylline may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

How should I take pentoxifylline?

Take pentoxifylline exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.Take pentoxifylline with food or an antacid to lessen stomach upset.Pentoxifylline is usually taken three times a day. Follow your doctor's instructions. If you experience side effects, talk to your doctor. You may only need to take pentoxifylline twice a day.nocrush    Do not break, crush, or chew the tablets. Swallow them whole. They are specially coated o protect your stomach.

Do not stop taking this medication suddenly. It may take up to 8 weeks for you to see the beneficial effects of pentoxifylline, although you may begin to feel better as soon as 2 weeks after starting therapy.

What other drugs will affect pentoxifylline?

Before taking pentoxifylline, tell your doctor if you are taking warfarin (Coumadin). Pentoxifylline may increase the effects of anticoagulants such as warfarin, which may result in bleeding.Theophylline (Theo-Dur, Theo-Bid, Theolair, Theochron, Elixophyllin, Slo-Phyllin, others), aminophylline (Phyllocontin, Truphylline), dyphylline (Lufyllin, Dylix, Dilor, Neothylline), and oxtriphylline (Choledyl) may cause dangerous side effects if taken while you are taking pentoxifylline. Your dosage of these drugs may have to be reduced or blood levels closely monitored. Talk to your doctor if you are currently taking any of these medicines.Tobacco may worsen your condition or decrease the beneficial effects of pentoxifylline by narrowing your blood vessels. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you use tobacco.Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with pentoxifylline. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking or using any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines