Heart Home > Other Reasons to Prescribe Pentoxifylline and How It Works
How Does This Medication Work?Pentoxifylline improves blood flow by increasing the ability of white and red blood cells to change shape as they pass through tight spaces, such as the narrowed blood vessels of peripheral arterial disease. The exact mechanism that allows this shape change is unknown.
Is Pentoxifylline Safe for Children?This drug is not approved for use in children, as it has not been adequately studied in this age group. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using pentoxifylline in children.
Is It Used for Off-Label Reasons?On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend pentoxifylline for something other than peripheral arterial disease (this would be known as an "off-label" use). Some possible off-label uses of pentoxifylline include the treatment of the following conditions:
- Diabetic peripheral neuropathy
- Diabetic atherosclerosis
- Sickle cell disease
- Clots in a hemodialysis shunt
- Impotence (also known as erectile dysfunction, or ED) caused by poor blood flow
- Malaria infections that have affected the brain
- Septic shock
- Leg ulcers
- High altitude sickness
- Eye and ear disorders.