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Treatment For Symptoms of Intermittent Claudication

Cilostazol is a medication used to treat the symptoms of intermittent claudication in peripheral vascular disease. Symptoms of intermittent claudication may include pain in the leg that worsens when walking and improve when resting. By improving the blood flow, this medicine helps patients with this condition to walk a longer distance without pain. Cilostazol was approved by the FDA for medical use in the US since 1999.

What condition does Cilostazol treat?

Cilostazol is prescribed for the treatment of intermittent claudication, a condition characterized by the narrowing of the arteries that supply blood in the legs. Patients with this type of condition develop pain when they walk due to an insufficient supply of oxygen that reaches the active leg muscle. Cilostazol may also be used to prevent stroke.

How does Cilostazol work?

  • Cilostazol is an antiplatelet drug and a vasodilator. It reduces muscle cramps and pain that occurs while walking and exercising by increasing the flow of blood and the amount of oxygen that gets to the muscles. It widens the blood vessels to improve blood flow.
  • As a platelet-aggregation inhibitor, it stops the blood platelets from sticking together and prevents them from forming harmful clots. It allows the blood cells to move more easily and keep flowing smoothly in your body.
  • Intermittent claudication is a condition characterized by the narrowing or blockage of the main artery to the legs causing pain while you walk or exercise. The pain goes away when you rest. The pain may affect the calf, thigh, hip, arch of the foot, and buttocks. Intermittent claudication is a common early symptom of peripheral arterial disease or PAD.
  • If left untreated, claudication can progress to serious complications such as critical limb ischemia. Ischemia is a severe obstruction to the blood flow in the extremities that is accompanied by severe pain, sores or skin ulcers, and gangrene.
  • Claudication is generally considered a warning of significant atherosclerosis in the circulatory system. Patients with untreated claudication have a higher risk of a coronary artery, stroke, and heart disease. Getting prompt treatment can help avoid serious complications and permanent damage to the limbs.


What is the dosage of Cilostazol?

The dose of Cilostazol and the duration of treatment depend on your condition and the strength of the medicine. This medicine comes as a tablet form to take by mouth. The typical recommended for an adult is 100mg tablet two times a day.

How to take Cilostazol?

  • Take Cilostazol at least 30 minutes before a meal or 2 hours after a meal to prevent foods from affecting the absorption of the medicine.
  • Take this medicine exactly as directed. Take it at the same time each day. Do not take more or less than what is prescribed to you by your physician.
  • Remember that this medicine can only help control intermittent claudication symptoms but it will not cure the condition.

What are the precautions in taking Cilostazol?

  • You may notice visible improvement within 2 to 4 weeks of treatment but it may take up to 12 weeks before you can see the full benefits of this drug. Continue taking Cilostazol even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Cilostazol without informing your doctor.
  • Stop the medication if there is no improvement after 3 months of intake.
  • Cilostazol is dangerous for people with severe heart failure. It’s not also recommended for pregnant women unless deemed absolutely necessary by the doctor. Breastfeeding women should not also use this unless necessary.
  • Before using this medication, tell your doctor if:
    • You have bleeding disorders like bleeding ulcers, bleeding in the eye or brain.
    • You have blood disorders such as low platelet counts and hemophilia
    • You have heart diseases such as chest pain, heart attack, fast and irregular heartbeat
    • You have had a stroke
    • You have kidney disease
  • Cilostazol may cause stomach bleeding. The use of alcohol may increase your chances of stomach bleeding.
  • The use of alcohol and cigarettes can cause interaction to occur. To prevent unwanted interactions from occurring, avoid consuming alcohol when under medication. In some cases which is unavoidable, your doctor may change your dose or give you special instructions about the use of tobacco and alcohol.
  • The use of this medicine may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm. Abnormal heart rhythm can rarely cause serious irregular heartbeat and symptoms like fainting and dizziness that needs medical attention.
  • Cilostazol may interact with other medications. In some instances, may increase the concentration of this drug and could lead to an increased possibility of toxic effects. In this case, before you take this medicine, tell your doctor if you are using any other medications including prescription and non-prescription drugs, vitamins, and supplements.
  • This medication can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells which can increase your risk of infections. It may also lower your platelet counts necessary for blood clotting.
  • As much as possible avoid people with infections. Be careful not to get cut on yourself and avoid sports contact. Check with your doctor if you have any signs of bleeding, or unusual bruising.

Costs of Generic Cilostazol vs. Pletal

Cilostazol is an inexpensive drug used to treat the symptoms of intermittent claudication. It’s a lot cheaper than the brand name Pletal. Cilostazol 50mg cost $1.05 per unit price or $62.74 for 60 tabs. While the brand name Pletal costs $120.32 for 60 tabs or $2.01 per unit price.

– This article is solely presented by for information purposes. Seek a licensed physician and you always check with a doctor.

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