Blood Home > Trental

Trental is a drug licensed to increase circulation in people who have peripheral arterial disease (PAD). This prescription drug works by reducing the thickness of the blood and improving blood flow. It comes in the form of an extended-release tablet and is taken three times daily with meals. Potential side effects include nausea and vomiting.

What Is Trental?

Trental® (pentoxifylline) is a prescription medication approved to reduce the viscosity (thickness) of the blood and improve blood flow. It is used to increase circulation in people with peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
 
(Click Trental Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes This Medication?

Brand-name Trental is made by sanofi-aventis U.S., LLC. Generic versions are made by various manufacturers.
 

How Does Trental Work?

Trental increases the ability of white and red blood cells to change shape as they pass through narrow spaces such as blood vessels. The exact mechanism that allows this shape change is unknown. Trental also helps the blood flow more freely, allowing more oxygen to reach the extremities.
 
Trental comes in an extended-release (long-acting) tablet so that the medication works consistently from dose to dose. Do not crush or chew the tablet, as this reduces its ability to work reliably.
 

When and How to Take It

Some general considerations include the following:
 
  • This medication comes in extended-release tablet form. It is usually taken by mouth three times a day with meals.
     
  • Trental should be taken by mouth with a full glass of water.
     
  • This medication should be taken with food. Studies have shown increased levels of Trental in the body after being taken with food. Taking this medicine with food may also decrease nausea and vomiting.
     
  • Do not crush, chew, or break the tablets; make sure to swallow them whole.
     
  • Try to take your doses about eight hours apart to keep an even level of the medication in your blood.
     
  • This medication may begin working in two to four weeks; however, it is recommended that you continue to take it for at least eight weeks.
     
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not stop taking this medicine without consulting your healthcare provider.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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