Why is this medication prescribed?
Cilostazol is used to reduce the symptoms of intermittent claudication (pain in the legs that worsens when walking and improves when resting that is caused by narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the legs). Cilostazol is in a class of medications called platelet-aggregation inhibitors (antiplatelet medications). It works by improving blood flow to the legs.
How should this medicine be used?
Cilostazol comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day, at least 30 minutes before or 2 hours after breakfast and dinner. Take cilostazol at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on the prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take cilostazol exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Cilostazol controls the symptoms of intermittent claudication but does not cure it. Although you may notice improvements in 2 to 4 weeks, it may take up to 12 weeks before you notice the full benefit (increased walking distance) of cilostazol. Continue taking cilostazol even if you feel well. Do not stop taking cilostazol without talking to your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking cilostazol,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to cilostazol, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in cilostazol. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants (”blood thinners”) such as warfarin (Coumadin); aspirin; antifungal medications such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), and ketoconazole (Nizoral); antiplatelet medications such as clopidogrel (Plavix), prasugrel (Effient), and ticlopidine (Ticlid); clarithromycin (Biaxin); diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac, others); erythromycin (E-mycin, Ery-Tab, others); fluoxetine (Prozac); fluvoxamine (Luvox); nefazadone; omeprazole (Prilosec); and sertraline (Zoloft). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have bleeding ulcers (sores in the lining of the stomach or small intestine that are bleeding), bleeding in the brain, bleeding from any other part of your body, a low number of platelets in your blood, or any other condition that causes severe bleeding. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take cilostazol.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart, kidney, or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking cilostazol, call your doctor.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Cilostazol may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain
- muscle pain
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- severe headache
- fast or irregular heartbeat
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.