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Pentoxifylline xtal 2005 ball-and-stick.png
Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
Pronunciation /ˌpɛntɒkˈsɪflin, -ɪn/
Trade names Many names worldwide[1]
AHFS/ Monograph
MedlinePlus a685027
License data
  • AU: B1
  • US: C (Risk not ruled out)
Routes of
Legal status
Legal status
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability 10-30%[2]
Metabolism Hepatic and via erythrocytes
Biological half-life 0.4-0.8 hours (1-1.6 hours for active metabolite)[2]
Excretion Urine (95%), faeces (<4%)[2]
CAS Number 6493-05-6 YesY
ATC code C04AD03 (WHO)
PubChem CID 4740
DrugBank DB00806 YesY
ChemSpider 4578 YesY
KEGG D00501 YesY
Chemical data
Formula C13H18N4O3
Molar mass 278.31 g/mol

Pentoxifylline (INN, BAN, USAN) or oxpentifylline (AAN)[3] is a drug used to treat muscle pain in people with peripheral artery disease.[4] It is generic and sold under many brand names worldwide.[1]

Medical uses[edit]

Its primary use in medicine is in treating the symptoms of muscle pain resulting from peripheral artery disease.[4] This is its only FDA, MHRA and TGA-labelled indication.[3][5][6]

Adverse effects[edit]

Dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, indigestion and flushing are common side effects. Uncommon and rare side effects include angina, palpitations, hypersensitivity, itchiness, rash, hives, bleeding, hallucinations, arrhythmias, and aseptic meningitis.[2][3][5][6]

Contraindications include intolerance to pentoxifylline or other xanthine derivatives, recent retinal or cerebral haemorrhage, and risk factors for haemorrhage.[2]

Co-administration of pentoxifylline and sodium thiopental may cause death by acute pulmonary edema in rats.[7]


Like other methylated xanthine derivatives, pentoxifylline is a competitive nonselective phosphodiesterase inhibitor[8] which raises intracellular cAMP, activates PKA, inhibits TNF[9][10] and leukotriene [11] synthesis, and reduces inflammation and innate immunity.[11] In addition, pentoxifylline improves red blood cell deformability (known as a haemorrheologic effect), reduces blood viscosity and decreases the potential for platelet aggregation and thrombus formation.[12] Pentoxifylline is also an antagonist at adenosine 2 receptors.[13]

Effect of Pentoxifylline on seizure[edit]

In a study, the effect of pentoxifylline as a phosphodiestrase inhibitor was study on the pentylenetetrazol-induced seziure in the wild-type mice. Pentoxifylline in that study reduced the anti-convulsive effect of H-89 and reduced the seizure threshold.[14]


There is some evidence that pentoxifyllinenon can lower the levels of some biomarkers in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis but evidence is insufficient to determine if the drug is safe and effective for this use.[15] Animal studies have been conducted exploring the use of pentoxifylline for erectile dysfunction and Peyronie's disease.[16][17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b international listings for Pentoxifylline. Page accessed Feb 1, 206
  2. ^ a b c d e "Trental, Pentoxil (pentoxifylline) dosing, indications, interactions, adverse effects, and more". Medscape Reference. WebMD. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "PRODUCT INFORMATION TRENTAL® 400" (PDF). TGA eBusiness Services. sanofi-aventis australia pty limited. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Salhiyyah K, Senanayake E, Abdel-Hadi M, Booth A, Michaels JA (2012). "Pentoxifylline for intermittent claudication". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 1: CD005262. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD005262.pub2. PMID 22258961. 
  5. ^ a b "PENTOXIFYLLINE tablet, extended release [Apotex Corp.]". DailyMed. Apotex Corp. February 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Trental 400 - Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC)". electronic Medicines Compendium. Sanofi. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Pereda J, Gómez-Cambronero L, Alberola A, Fabregat G, Cerdá M, Escobar J, Sabater L, García-de-la-Asunción J, García-de-la-Asuneión J, Viña J, Sastre J (2006). "Co-administration of pentoxifylline and thiopental causes death by acute pulmonary oedema in rats". British Journal of Pharmacology. 149 (4): 450–5. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0706871. PMC 1978439free to read. PMID 16953192. 
  8. ^ Essayan DM (2001). "Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases". The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 108 (5): 671–80. doi:10.1067/mai.2001.119555. PMID 11692087. 
  9. ^ Deree J, Martins JO, Melbostad H, Loomis WH, Coimbra R (2008). "Insights into the regulation of TNF-alpha production in human mononuclear cells: the effects of non-specific phosphodiesterase inhibition". Clinics. 63 (3): 321–8. doi:10.1590/S1807-59322008000300006. PMC 2664230free to read. PMID 18568240. 
  10. ^ Marques LJ, Zheng L, Poulakis N, Guzman J, Costabel U (1999). "Pentoxifylline inhibits TNF-alpha production from human alveolar macrophages". American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 159 (2): 508–11. doi:10.1164/ajrccm.159.2.9804085. PMID 9927365. 
  11. ^ a b Peters-Golden M, Canetti C, Mancuso P, Coffey MJ (2005). "Leukotrienes: underappreciated mediators of innate immune responses". Journal of Immunology. 174 (2): 589–94. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.174.2.589. PMID 15634873. 
  12. ^ Ward A, Clissold SP (1987). "Pentoxifylline. A review of its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties, and its therapeutic efficacy". Drugs. 34 (1): 50–97. doi:10.2165/00003495-198734010-00003. PMID 3308412. 
  13. ^ Rodríguez-Morán M, Guerrero-Romero F (2008). "Efficacy of pentoxifylline in the management of microalbuminuria in patients with diabetes". Current Diabetes Reviews. 4 (1): 55–62. doi:10.2174/157339908783502343. PMID 18220696. 
  14. ^ Hosseini-Zare MS, Salehi F, Seyedi SY, Azami K, Ghadiri T, Mobasseri M, Gholizadeh S, Beyer C, Sharifzadeh M (2011). "Effects of pentoxifylline and H-89 on epileptogenic activity of bucladesine in pentylenetetrazol-treated mice". European Journal of Pharmacology. 670 (2-3): 464–70. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2011.09.026. PMID 21946102. 
  15. ^ Li W, Zheng L, Sheng C, Cheng X, Qing L, Qu S (2011). "Systematic review on the treatment of pentoxifylline in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease". Lipids in Health and Disease. 10: 49. doi:10.1186/1476-511X-10-49. PMC 3088890free to read. PMID 21477300. 
  16. ^ El-Sakka AI, "Reversion of penile fibrosis: Current information and a new horizon", Arab Journal of Urology, 2011 Mar;9(1):49–55. PMID 26579268 PMC4149188
  17. ^ Anele UA, Morrison BF & Burnett AL, "Molecular pathophysiology of priapism: Emerging targets", Current Drug Targets, 2015;16(5):474–83. PMID 25392014.

External links[edit]