There’s an arterial condition in which the blood vessels do not allow proper blood flow. Characterised by mild pain or numbness in the legs when the patient is moving or exercising, the condition is known as intermittent claudication.
Cilostazol is a primary treatment option for intermittent claudication. Classified as a platelet aggregation inhibitor, Cilostazol helps increase the blood flow through the blood vessels.
This will reduce the pain in legs when the patient walks/exercises. For the patients of intermittent claudication, the period of rest between walks reduces by using Cilostazol.
Cilostazol works against the blood component known as platelets from sticking together. Platelets, when stuck together, form painful clots that can affect the blood supply through vessels.
In the case of intermittent claudication, Cilostazol helps to increase the oxygen flow in the blood vessels, and also dilates the vessels for easy blood flow.
Cilostazol is an oral medicine that comes in 50 mg and 100 mg potency. You can take it before a meal or two hours after having a meal. The primary consideration is to take it on an empty stomach.
The usual prescription is for twice a day on the same intervals.
The usual Cilostazol dosage is 100 mg tablet twice a day. An empty stomach is a prerequisite for the dose.
While a 100 mg tablet is prescribed when there’s no combination therapy involved, the dosage is reduced to 50 mg in case your doctor prescribes another inhibitor.
If you miss a dose, take it when you recall. Miss it if your next dose scheduled time is near.
The drug takes 2-4 weeks to show effectiveness. In some cases, it may take up to 12 weeks to cure intermittent claudication symptoms.
If even after 12 weeks, there’s no sign of improvement, your doctor may stop cilostazol.
The common side effects to the medicine include:
- Stomach ache
- Gastric disturbance
In case you face any of the following side effects, immediately seek medical help:
- Irregular heartbeat/pounding
- Bruising on the skin or unusual bleeding
- Swelling on the lower abdomen or legs.
- Bloody stools
- Vomits that show blood
- The drug can interact with many medicines, so make sure to remind your doctor about what medicines you’re taking.
- Not only medicines, this drug can also interact with foods, so always take it on an empty stomach, and avoid taking it with alcohol, grapefruit juice or tobacco.
- There’s no clear evidence of adverse reactions in breastfeeding mothers, but make sure to inform them about breastfeeding or pregnancy in case you’re seeking treatment for intermittent claudication.
- Inform your doctor about any heart or liver condition if you have any; this medicine can be dangerous for people with peripheral cardiac disease or people who have a heart rate problem.
- Inform your doctor about low levels of white blood cells or platelets in case you have any such problem.
- Do not take more medicine than prescribed; do not take it longer than the prescription, and do not discontinue it abruptly.