Pentoxifylline, also called oxpentifylline, is a derivative of xanthine. Pentoxifylline is used to
improve symptoms of a certain blood flow problem in the legs or arms, caused by intermittent
claudication due to occlusive artery disease. Pentoxifylline decreases muscle ache or pain or
cramps during exercise or walking, caused by intermittent claudication. As a hemorheological
agent, its actions help blood flow more easily through narrowed arteries. As more blood flows,
it increases the amount of oxygen delivered by the blood as and when muscles need more, for
example during exercise, allowing the patient to walk more, thereby allowing the user to
increase the duration of physical activity like walking or exercise.
Pentoxifylline is sold under many brand names including Trental, Pentoxil, and Pentoxifylline
TEVA Pharmaceuticals USA filed for the patent in 1999. Since then they have discontinued
those medicines. Since the expiry of the initial patent protection, it is made and sold as a
generic drug by many pharma companies around the world.
Dosage and Administration
Pentoxifylline is sold as an extended-release Tablet in 400mg strength. For Adults, in the
treatment of Intermittent Claudication, the recommended dose is 400 mg, taken orally, every 8
hours, and the course of the treatment lasts 8 weeks. Benefits from therapy should start
showing within 2-4 weeks from the start of the therapy however, optimum benefits are achieved
after eight weeks of use. For this reason, the patient is advised not to discontinue the course
and use it for the full 8 weeks, even if the patient starts to feel before the completion of the 8
weeks course. Patients are strictly advised against crushing or chewing this medication, doing
so releases all the drug at once and increase the risk of side effects. The tablets are to be taken
whole, and not broken into pieces and take the pieces separately. For optimum benefits, it
should be used regularly and at the same every day. only the Doctor or the physician, who is
monitoring the patient is decides on the course of medication.
The patient is advised to check if they are allergic to Pentoxifylline. In case of overdose, the
patient MUST contact the near poison or toxin treatment facility as soon as possible. Pregnant
mothers are advised to study the risk and benefit trade-off before using it. Since it gets excreted
in breast milk, breastfeeding mothers cannot use this medicine.
The price of Pentoxifylline
In the USA, the consumer has to pay an average retail price of $49.69, for a supply of 60
generic tablets of 400mg. In India, the price of 10, 400mg tablets is around USD 0.28.
How does it work?
Pentoxifylline actions increase red blood cell flexibility. It does this increasing the erythrocyte
ATP and cyclic nucleotide levels. The resulting impact is reducing the viscosity of blood by
decreasing erythrocyte aggregation. This also stimulates fibrinolysis to reduce plasma
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