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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
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.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: flushing, severe dizziness, seizures, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, fever, agitation.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood counts, blood pressure) should be performed from time to time to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Lifestyle changes that may help reduce the symptoms of intermittent claudication include stopping smoking, exercising regularly, and losing weight. Ask your doctor about lifestyle changes that may benefit you.