Although Trental is licensed to increase circulation in people with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), some healthcare providers also recommend the medication for treating other medical conditions. Some of these off-label (unapproved) uses for Trental include treating impotence, leg ulcers, and strokes. This prescription medication works by reducing the viscosity (thickness) of the blood so that it can flow more freely through the blood vessels.
What Is Trental Used For?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). Trental is used to treat the pain and discomforts of the disease; it is not intended to cure the condition.
PAD occurs when fatty deposits start to accumulate inside the walls of the arteries leading to the extremities (the arms and legs). It is a form of atherosclerosis (see Atherosclerosis for more information).
As the fatty deposits accumulate, white and red blood cells are less able to make it through the narrowed blood vessels to their destination in the hands and feet. Oxygen is carried to various parts of the body in your blood. With less oxygenated blood circulating to the extremities, they begin to cramp.
The early signs of peripheral arterial disease are cramping and tiredness in the legs. Early on, these signs are relieved by standing still. As the disease progresses, the cramping becomes increasingly painful even when still. Ischemic rest pain, which is defined as leg pain that continues even when lying down, is another sign of peripheral arterial disease.