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a xanthine derivative that reduces blood viscosity; used for the symptomatic relief of intermittent claudication in peripheral vascular disease.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


Apo-Pentoxiphylline, Neotren (UK), Pentoxil, Pentoxiphylline (CA), Pentoxiphylline SR (CA), Trental

Pharmacologic class: Hemorrheologic, xanthine derivative

Therapeutic class: Hematologic agent

Pregnancy risk category C


Unknown. Thought to enhance blood flow to the circulatory system by increasing vasoconstriction and oxygen concentrations.


Tablets (controlled-release, extended-release): 400 mg

Indications and dosages

Intermittent claudication

Adults: 400 mg t.i.d. If adverse reactions occur, decrease to 400 mg b.i.d.

Dosage adjustment

• Renal impairment

Off-label uses

• Diabetic angiopathies and neuropathies

• Transient ischemic attacks

• Severe idiopathic recurrent aphthous stomatitis

• Raynaud's phenomenon


• Hypersensitivity to drug or methylxanthines (such as caffeine, theophylline, theobromine)

• Recent cerebral or retinal hemorrhage


Use cautiously in:

• patients at risk for bleeding

• pregnant or breastfeeding patients

• children (safety not established).


• Give with meals to minimize GI distress.

• Make sure patient swallows tablets whole without crushing, breaking, or chewing.

Adverse reactions

CNS: agitation, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, insomnia, nervousness, tremor, anxiety, confusion, malaise

CV: angina, edema, hypotension, arrhythmias

EENT: blurred vision, epistaxis, laryngitis, nasal congestion, sore throat

GI: nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, belching, bloating, dyspepsia, flatus, cholecystitis, dry mouth, excessive salivation, anorexia

Hematologic: leukopenia

Respiratory: dyspnea

Skin: rash, urticaria, pruritus, brittle fingernails, flushing, angioedema

Other: bad taste, weight changes, thirst, flulike symptoms, lymphadenopathy


Drug-drug. Anticoagulants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): increased risk of bleeding Antihypertensives: additive hypotension

Theobromide, theophylline: increased risk of theophylline toxicity

Drug-herbs. Anise, arnica, asafetida, chamomile, clove, dong quai, fenugreek, feverfew, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, ginseng, licorice: increased risk of bleeding

Drug-behaviors. Smoking: decreased pentoxifylline efficacy

Patient monitoring

• Monitor vital signs and cardiovascular status. Watch for arrhythmias, angina, edema, and hypotension.

• Frequently monitor prothrombin time and International Normalized Ratio in patients receiving warfarin concurrently.

• Assess theophylline level in patients receiving theophylline-containing drugs concurrently.

Patient teaching

• Instruct patient to take with meals and to swallow tablets whole without crushing, breaking, or chewing.

Inform patient that drug can cause serious adverse effects. Instruct him to immediately report chest pain, swelling, and flulike symptoms.

• Tell patient smoking may make drug less effective and that many over-the-counter preparations (including aspirin, NSAIDs, and herbs) increase risk of bleeding.

• As appropriate, review all other significant and life-threatening adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs, herbs, and behaviors mentioned above.

McGraw-Hill Nurse's Drug Handbook, 7th Ed. Copyright © 2013 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


(pĕn′tŏk-sĭf′ə-lēn′, -lĭn, pĕn-tŏk′sə-fĭl′ēn′, -ĭn)
A drug, C13H18N4O3, that decreases blood viscosity and improves blood flow, used to treat intermittent claudication.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Trental® Vascular disease An agent used to prevent blood clots, especially in the elderly; it may also slow weight loss in CA ; may ↓ TNF Adverse effects Headache, tremor, dizziness, indigestion, N&V. See AIDS.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.