How Do Hemorheologic Agents Work?

Reviewed on 8/2/2021

HOW DO HEMORHEOLOGIC AGENTS WORK?

Hemorheologic agents are drugs that increase the blood flow in arteries and are used to treat intermittent claudication (cramping in the legs because of decreased blood flow during exercise or walking). 

 

Pentoxifylline is a hemorheologic agent that reduces the blood viscosity by increasing the flexibility of red blood cells and subsequently improves limb function and reduces symptoms of ischemia (pain caused by lack of oxygen) as the blood flow is increased. It also reduces plasma fibrinogen, inhibits neutrophil activation, suppresses erythrocyte/platelet aggregation, and prevents blood clot formation. However, the exact mechanism of action of hemorheologic effect of pentoxifylline is unclear. 

Pentoxifylline has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Recently, it has been suggested as a possible treatment for COVID-19-induced pulmonary complications because of its ability to regulate the production of inflammatory cytokines.

HOW ARE HEMORHEOLOGIC AGENTS USED?

Hemorheologic agents are used to treat:

WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF HEMORHEOLOGIC AGENTS?

Side effects associated with hemorheologic agents include:

The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

SLIDESHOW

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WHAT ARE NAMES OF HEMORHEOLOGIC AGENTS?

Generic and brand names of hemorheologic agents include:

  • Pentoxifylline (Pentoxil, Trental)
  • Pentoxifylline SR
References
https://reference.medscape.com/drugs/hemorheologic-agents

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6393073/#:~:text=Pentoxifylline%20is%20a%20hemorheologic%20agent,is chemic%20muscles%20of%20the%20limbs.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7282759/

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