This medicine makes blood flow more easily through blood capillaries. It improves red blood cell flexibility so these oxygen-carrying cells can squeeze through small vessels or those that are almost blocked.
Trental is used to treat a leg condition called intermittent claudication, which causes pain upon walking.
Although the FDA has not approved Trental for any other use, doctors sometimes prescribe this medicine for complications of diabetes, sickle cell anemia, Raynaud’s syndrome, hearing problems, mountain sickness, stroke and other conditions where blood flow to the brain is compromised.
Side Effects and Interactions
Side effects associated with Trental are relatively infrequent. Those that have been reported include dizziness, flushing, stomach upset, flatulence, belching, bloating, loss of appetite, nausea, indigestion, and vomiting.
Other adverse reactions to be aware of are headache, blurred vision, constipation, excessive salivation, tremor, confusion, anxiety, nasal congestion, chest pain, brittle fingernails, rash, itching, bad taste in the mouth, swelling, difficulty breathing, thirst and dry mouth.
Report any symptoms to your physician promptly.
Trental does not interact with many other medications. There have been, however, reports that it may affect blood clotting time, especially in combination with blood thinners such as Coumadin. This could lead to hemorrhaging unless blood is carefully monitored by a test called a prothrombin time.
Blood pressure should also be determined periodically, particularly if you must take antihypertensive medications.
Check with your physician and pharmacist to make sure Trental is safe in combination with any other medicines you may take.
People who are especially sensitive to caffeine or the closely related asthma drug theophylline may not be able to tolerate Trental.
The doctor should proceed cautiously when prescribing Trental for someone with kidney disease or arteriosclerosis.
Taking the Medicine
Although food may slow the absorption of Trental, it does not reduce the total amount of medicine absorbed into the body. If this drug upsets your stomach it should be taken with meals.