Cilostazol belongs to a group of medications known as antiplatelet or platelet-aggregation inhibitors. Its primary use is to alleviate the symptoms of intermittent claudication, which is characterized by leg pain that worsens with physical activity and subsides during rest. This condition is typically caused by the narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the legs. Cilostazol operates by enhancing blood circulation to the legs.
Uses and Dosage
Cilostazol is administered orally in tablet form. It is typically consumed twice daily, at least 30 minutes prior to or two hours following breakfast and dinner. For optimal results, take cilostazol at approximately the same time each day. Adhere to the recommended dosage of cilostazol and not to exceed or reduce it or take it more often than directed by your doctor.
Cilostazol alleviates the symptoms of intermittent claudication, but it is not a cure. While some improvements may be noticed within 2-4 weeks, it may take up to 12 weeks to experience the full benefits of cilostazol, such as increased walking distance.
Continue taking cilostazol as prescribed, even if you feel well. Do not discontinue cilostazol without consulting your physician.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- back pain
- increased cough
- pain or stiffness in the muscles
- pounding heartbeat
- runny or stuffy nose
- sore throat
- swelling of the arms or legs
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- abnormal bleeding
- bloody or black tarry stools
- bruises or red spots on the skin
- severe nausea, heartburn, or indigestion
- stiff neck
- severe stomach pain, cramping, or burning
- swelling of the tongue
- vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
Before taking cilostazol, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any allergies, including an allergy to cilostazol, or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive components that can cause allergic reactions or other issues.
Prior to using this medication, inform your doctor or pharmacist of your medical history, particularly if you have a history of serious/active bleeding, blood disorders, heart disease, stroke, or kidney disease.
This medication may cause dizziness. The consumption of alcohol or marijuana may increase the likelihood of dizziness. Until you can perform activities safely, avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing tasks that require alertness.
To reduce the chance of cuts, bruises, or injuries, exercise caution with sharp objects such as razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
This medication can cause stomach bleeding. The daily use of alcohol while using this medication may increase the risk of stomach bleeding. Limit alcohol consumption and seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist regarding the amount of alcohol you may consume safely.
Cilostazol may cause QT prolongation, a condition that affects heart rhythm. QT prolongation can occasionally cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms, such as severe dizziness and fainting, that require immediate medical attention.
Additionally, low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may increase the risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs, such as diuretics/”water pills,” or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Older adults may be more susceptible to the medication’s adverse effects, particularly fluid retention, which can cause swelling of the hands and feet, or QT prolongation.
During pregnancy, use this medication only if it is necessary. Consult with your doctor regarding the risks and benefits.
It is unclear if this medication passes into breast milk. Speak with your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Pletal is available in the following forms and strengths:
What happens if you take Pletal with food?
Food may reduce the absorption of cilostazol. Taking Pletal on an empty stomach will make it easier for your body to absorb the medication.
How long does it take for Pletal to work?
Improvement in symptoms may occur as soon as 2 weeks, but could take up to 12 weeks.