Pentoxifylline is used to improve blood flow in patients with circulation problems to reduce aching, cramping, and tiredness in the hands and feet. It works by decreasing the thickness (viscosity) of blood. This change allows your blood to flow more easily, especially in the small blood vessels of the hands and feet.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Pentoxifylline comes as an extended-release (long-acting) tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken three times a day. Do not break, crush, or chew the tablets; swallow them whole. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take pentoxifylline exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Although you may feel the effects of this medication in 2-4 weeks, you may need to take it for up to 8 weeks before you feel the full effect of pentoxifylline.
Pentoxifylline controls the symptoms of circulation problems, but does not cure them. Continue to take pentoxifylline even if you feel well. Do not stop taking pentoxifylline without talking to your doctor.
Pentoxifylline also is used for leg ulcers, strokes, high-altitude sickness, eye and ear disorders, and sickle cell disease and to treat pain from diabetic neuropathy. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
Before taking pentoxifylline,
Take pentoxifylline with meals to prevent upset stomach. If symptoms continue, tell your doctor. Your dose may need to be decreased.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Pentoxifylline may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
If you experience either of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your blood pressure may need to be checked regularly, especially if you are taking other heart medications.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: October 15, 2017.