Treatment of severe intermittent claudication with pentoxifylline: a 40-week, controlled, randomized trial.Angiology. 2002 Jan-Feb; 53 Suppl 1:S1-5.A
The efficacy, safety, and cost of pentoxifylline (PXF) in the treatment of severe intermittent claudication were studied comparing PXF and placebo in a randomized 40-week study. A treadmill test was performed at inclusion and at the end of weeks 20 and 40. A progressive training plan and the control of risk factors (with antiplatelet treatment) were used in both groups. Of the 200 included patients, 178 completed the study: 88 in the PXF group and 90 in the placebo group. There were 22 dropouts. The two groups were comparable for age, sex distribution, and for the presence of risk factors and smoking. There was a significant increase in pain-free walking distance (PFWD) in both groups. The absolute and percent increase in PFWD was significantly greater in the PXF group (p<0.05). At 20 weeks, the increase was 360.5% in the PXF vs 252% in the placebo group. At 40 weeks, the increase was 386% in the PXF and 369% in the placebo group (p<0.02). Total walking distance (TWD) increased at 20 weeks (up to 254%) and up to 329% at 40 weeks. In the placebo groups the increase was 158% at 20 weeks and 183% at 40 weeks. The excess increase produced by PXF treatment was 30% at 20 weeks and 38% at 40 weeks (p<0.02). Unwanted effects treatment was well tolerated. No serious drug-related side effects were observed. In summary, between-group analysis favors PXF considering walking distance and costs. Results indicate good efficacy and tolerability.