Cilostazol: what is it for?

Cilostazol is a drug used for its antiplatelet and vasodilator properties. Therefore, it is indicated in the treatment of intermittent claudication. Therefore, is a vasodilator that relaxes the walls of blood vessels in order to facilitate its dilation.

At the same time, improves circulation because it does not allow platelets, which are blood cells, clump together forming a clot that acts as a stopper for blood circulation.

It is marketed in the form of 100 milligram tablets and the recommended dose is one tablet every 12 hours. However, it is contraindicated in people who have congestive heart failure.

What is intermittent claudication?

Intermittent claudication can be associated with other vascular diseases.

Intermittent claudication is one of the symptoms of peripheral artery disease, which is caused by the obstruction of the arteries that supply the legs. It manifests itself in the form of pain in the lower extremities because the blood flow is very low. It usually appears, especially, during physical exercise.

It is important to know that the term intermittent refers to the pain manifesting in the lower extremities. However, there is also the term surrender It affects the arms. Therefore, the main characteristic of this condition is the pain that occurs when traveling a certain distance.

At first, you may only notice pain when you are doing sports. But when this pathology worsens, you can start to feel it even at rest. Although intermittent claudication is sometimes considered a pathology, as stated above, it is more of a symptom of peripheral arterial disease.

Today, fortunately There is already treatment -such as cilostazol- that allows the patient to improve their quality of life and allows you to lead an active life without pain.


Some of the most commonly described symptoms of intermittent claudication include the following:

  • Intermittent pain: appears and disappears as the patient performs activities of daily life.
  • Pain during physical exercise: It usually appears more on the feet, thighs, hips and buttocks. However, you should not forget that the arms can also be affected, although this situation is less common.
  • Skin problems: It is possible that spots or ulcers appear on the skin. Fingers and toes may turn bluish in color.
  • Pain when resting: this symptom is characteristic of advanced disease. It does not usually appear at the beginning.

Find out: How pain relievers are classified

Mechanism of action: how does cilostazol have an effect on the body?

Cilostazol owes its effects to its ability to inhibit an enzyme known under the name of phosphodiesterase 3.

Phosphodiesterase 3 intervenes significantly in the regulation of the heart muscle, vascular smooth muscle and platelet aggregation. Therefore, by being inhibited by the action of cilostazol, the symptoms related to these processes improve considerably.

On the other hand, mention that this drug It also has another mechanism of action quite different from the one described above.. However, so far it has only been used for its vasodilator action.

Different clinical trials have been developed that have shown that patients who have been treated with cilostazol and who suffered from the symptoms of intermittent claudication are able to travel greater distances without pain.

Also read: Do you need to raise your platelets? Discover 4 remedies that will help you

Adverse reactions of cilostazol

Palpitations are part of the adverse effects of this drug.

Among the most frequent mild side effects we can mention the following:

Apart from these, there are other adverse reactions that can develop with cilostazol treatment. If you suffer from any of them you should notify your doctor:

  • Urine with blood.
  • Shortness of breath when breathing.
  • Feeling of fainting.
  • Fever, chills, and other flu symptoms.

In addition, cilostazol is a contraindicated drug in those patients suffering from congestive heart failure. However, these adverse reactions are not all that can trigger a treatment with this medicine.

How to avoid adverse reactions?

In summary, cilostazol is a drug that inhibits phosphodiesterase 3, an enzyme that intervenes in different processes of the circulatory system. Because of this, cilostazol has vasodilator and antiplatelet effects useful for the treatment of intermittent claudication.

This is a drug that, like other drugs on the market, has a series of adverse effects. For this reason, it must always be taken following the doctor's instructions within the framework of a healthy lifestyle.

If it has been prescribed for you, ask your doctor for any questions that you have on the use of this drug and always follow the indications that it offers you. This way you will avoid adverse reactions.