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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Pentoxifylline used for?

Short Answer

Pentoxifylline is used primarily to treat intermittent claudication.

Long Answer

Pentoxifylline (brand name Trental) was approved for the treatment of intermittent claudication by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1984. Intermittent claudication is a symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD) in which patients experience pain, cramping, and fatigue in the legs or arms during exercise due to narrowed arteries restricting the blood flow.

Pentoxifylline is a sustained release tablet that works by reducing the viscosity (sticky properties) of the blood, allowing it to flow more freely through the affected arteries. Thus, more oxygen is delivered to the muscles in the limbs during exercise and this helps reduce the painful symptoms.

Studies on its effectiveness for treating intermittent claudication have produced mixed results. Some studies showed significant improvement on walking distances and others have shown it to be no more effective than a placebo.

Pentoxifylline may also be used to treat other conditions such as:

  • High-altitude sickness
  • Asthenozoospermia (reduced sperm motility)
  • Sickle-cell thalassemia
  • Venous leg ulcers
  • Eye circulation disorders
  • Transient ischemic attacks (as a preventative measure)
  • Sudden hearing loss
  • Diabetic neuropathy (painful nerve damage caused by diabetes)
  • Recurrent canker sores
  • Raynaud's phenomenon (poor circulation in the fingers and toes)
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (fatty liver disease)

Additional Information

Pentoxifylline (Drugs.com)

Pentoxifylline (nlm.nih.gov)

pentoxifylline oral (WebMD.com)

pentoxifylline, Trental (MedicineNet.com)