What Is Pentoxifylline Used For?

If you have poor circulation caused by peripheral arterial disease (PAD), you may benefit from pentoxifylline. This prescription medication works by reducing the thickness of the blood, which allows the blood to flow more freely to the arms and legs. Healthcare providers may also recommend pentoxifylline for off-label uses, which include the treatment of impotence, leg ulcers, and strokes.

An Overview of Uses for Pentoxifylline

Pentoxifylline (Trental®) is a prescription medication approved to reduce the viscosity (thickness) of the blood and improve blood flow. It is used to increase circulation in people with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Pentoxifylline is used to treat the pain and discomforts of the disease; it is not intended to cure the condition.
PAD occurs when fatty deposits start to accumulate inside the walls of the arteries leading to the extremities (the arms and legs). It is a form of atherosclerosis (see Atherosclerosis for more information).
As the fatty deposits accumulate, white and red blood cells are less able to make it through the narrowed blood vessels to their destination in the hands and feet. Oxygen is carried to various parts of the body in your blood. With less oxygenated blood circulating to the extremities, they begin to cramp.
The early signs of peripheral arterial disease are cramping and tiredness in the legs. Early on, these signs are relieved by standing still. As the disease progresses, the cramping becomes increasingly painful even when still. Ischemic rest pain, which is defined as leg pain that continues even when lying down, is another sign of peripheral arterial disease.
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Pentoxifylline Drug Information

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