Information on Tablets A-Z
Generic name: Pentoxifylline
Why is this drug prescribed: Trental is a medication that reduces the viscosity or "stickiness" of your blood, allowing it to flow more freely. It helps relieve the painful leg cramps caused by "intermittent claudication," a condition that results when hardening of the arteries reduces the leg muscles' blood supply. Some doctors also prescribe Trental for dementia, strokes, circulatory and nerve problems caused by diabetes, and Raynaud's syndrome (a disorder of the blood vessels in which exposure to cold causes the fingers and toes to turn white). The drug is also used to treat impotence and to increase sperm motility in infertile men.
Most important fact about this drug: Trental can ease the pain in your legs and make walking easier but should not replace other treatments such as physical therapy or surgery.
How should you take this medication: Trental comes in controlled-release tablets. Do not break, crush, or chew the tablets; swallow them whole. Take Trental exactly as prescribed. --If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time. --Storage instructions... Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed and away from light. Store it at room temperature.
What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Trental. Trental's side effects are fairly uncommon. Side effects may include: Allergic reaction (symptoms include: swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat, arms, or legs, sore throat, fever and chills, difficulty swallowing, chest pain), anxiety, bad taste in the mouth, blind spot in vision, blurred vision, brittle fingernails, chest pain (sometimes crushing), confusion, conjunctivitis (pinkeye), constipation, depression, difficult or labored breathing, dizziness, dry mouth/thirst, earache, excessive salivation, flu-like symptoms, fluid retention, general body discomfort, headache, hives, indigestion, inflammation of the gallbladder, itching, laryngitis, loss of appetite, low blood pressure, nosebleeds, rash, seizures, sore throat/swollen neck glands, stuffy nose, tremor, vomiting, weight change
Why should this drug not be prescribed: Do not take Trental if you have recently had a stroke or bleeding in the retina of your eye. If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Trental, caffeine, theophylline (medication for asthma or other breathing disorders), or theobromine, do not take this medication. Make sure that your doctor is aware of any drug reactions that you have experienced.
Special warnings about this medication: If you are taking a blood thinner, or have recently had surgery, peptic ulcers, or other disorders that involve bleeding, the doctor should test your blood periodically. Most people tolerate Trental well, but there have been occasional cases of crushing chest pain, low blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat in people with heart disease and brain disorders.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Trental is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Trental with the following: Blood pressure medications such as Vasotec and Cardizem SR Blood-thinning drugs such as Coumadin Clot inhibitors such as Persantine Theophylline (Theo-Dur) Ulcer medicines such as Tagamet
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of Trental during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Trental appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment with this medication is finished.
Recommended dosage: ADULTS: The usual dosage of Trental in controlled-release tablets is one 400-milligram tablet 3 times a day with meals. While the effect of Trental may be seen within 2 to 4 weeks, it is recommended that treatment be continued for at least 8 weeks. Any stomach or central nervous system (affecting the brain and spinal cord) side effects are related to the dose. If any of these side effects occur, the dosage should be lowered to 1 tablet, 2 times a day, for a total of 800 milligrams a day. If side effects persist at this lower dosage, your doctor may consider stopping this drug. CHILDREN: The safety and effectiveness of this drug in children have not been established.
Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect symptoms of a Trental overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms appear within 4 to 5 hours and may last for 12 hours. Symptoms of Trental overdose may include: Agitation, convulsions, fever, flushing, loss of consciousness, low blood pressure, sleepiness