What Is Pentoxifylline and How Does It Work?

Pentoxifylline is a prescription drug used to improve the symptoms of a certain blood flow problem in the legs/arms (intermittent claudication due to occlusive artery disease). Pentoxifylline can decrease the muscle aching/pain/cramps during exercise, including walking, that occurs with intermittent claudication. Pentoxifylline belongs to a class of drugs known as hemorheological agents. It works by helping blood flow more easily through narrowed arteries. This increases the amount of oxygen that can be delivered by the blood when the muscles need more (such as during exercise) thereby increasing walking distance and duration.

  • Pentoxifylline is available under the following different brand names: Trental, Pentoxil, and Pentoxifylline SR.

What Are Dosage of Pentoxifylline?

Dosage of Pentoxifylline:

Tablet, extended-release

  • 400 mg

Dosing Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Adult Dosage only, safety and efficacy not established for pediatric dosages.

Intermittent Claudication

  • 400 mg orally every 8 hours
  • Recommended duration of treatment: not over 8 weeks

Dosage Modifications

  • Digestive or CNS side effects: Decrease dose to 400 mg twice daily; discontinue if adverse effects persist
  • Renal impairment (Creatinine Clearance under 30 mL/min): Decrease dose to 400 mg/day
  • Hepatic impairment: No information


  • Take with meals

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Pentoxifylline?

Common Side effects of Pentoxifylline include:

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

What Other Drugs Interact with Pentoxifylline?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist first.

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns, or for more information about this medicine.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Pentoxifylline?


  • This medication contains pentoxifylline. Do not take Trental, Pentoxil, or Pentoxifylline SR if you are allergic to pentoxifylline or any ingredients contained in this drug.
  • Keep out of reach of children
  • In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately


  • Hypersensitivity to pentoxifylline or xanthine derivatives
  • Recent retinal or cerebral hemorrhage

Effects of Drug Abuse

  • No information available

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Pentoxifylline?"

Long-Term Effects

  • Long-term use associated with fluid retention and hypertension
  • Development of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated with prolonged corticosteroid use
  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Pentoxifylline?"


  • Use caution with risk factors for hemorrhage
  • Discontinue at the first sign of anaphylaxis
  • Use with caution in renal impairment; exposure to pentoxifylline and/or active metabolites may increase; significance unknown
  • Use with caution in the elderly due to potential for renal impairment
  • Use with caution in hepatic impairment; exposure to pentoxifylline and/or active metabolites may increase; significance unknown

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Use pentoxifylline during pregnancy with caution if benefits outweigh risks
  • Animal studies show risk and human studies are not available, or neither animal nor human studies were done
  • Pentoxifylline is excreted in breast milk; discontinue therapy, or do not breastfeed
Medscape. Pentoxifylline.
RxList. Trental Monograph.

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