Pentoxifylline is a synthetic dimethylxanthine derivative structurally related to the methylxanthine derivatives theophylline, caffeine, and theobromine. Pentoxifylline differs structurally from these other agents by the presence of a 5-oxohexyl group at position 1. Pentoxifylline is usually classified as a vasodilator. However, its primary action appears to be a reduction in blood viscosity by increasing erythrocyte deformability, inhibiting platelet adhesion and aggregation, reducing plasma fibrinogen, and increasing fibrinolytic activity. Pentoxifylline is reported to increase blood flow to ischemic tissues and improve tissue oxygenation in patients with peripheral vascular disease. In the central nervous system, pentoxifylline can increase oxygen tension in both the cerebral cortex and in the cerebrospinal fluid. Pentoxifylline has also been shown to increase leukocyte deformability, inhibit neutrophil adhesion and activation and inhibit production of the cytokine, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF). Pentoxifylline is indicated in the treatment of intermittent claudication associated with peripheral vascular diseases (i.e., chronic occlusive arterial disease of the extremities). Although pentoxifylline can improve function and reduce symptoms of these diseases, it is not intended to replace more definitive treatments, such as surgical bypass or removal of arterial obstructions (Physicians desk reference, 2005).It has also been suggested to be useful in the treatment of many other conditions including acute and chronic cerebrovascular insufficiency associated with ischemic stroke, psychopathological symptoms associated with aging, transient ischemic attacks.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)