Information about Cilostazol

Cilostazol Uses

Cilostazol is used in the treatment of intermittent claudication. It helps in reducing the symptoms of intermittent claudication like pain, cramping, numbness, or weakness in the legs that occurs on walking.

How Cilostazol works

Cilostazol widens the blood vessels and decreases the stickiness of the platelets, thereby increasing the blood flow to the lower limbs.

Common side effects of Cilostazol

Headache, Palpitations, Abnormal stool, Diarrhea, Chest pain, Edema (swelling)
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MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
Last updated
13 Jun 2023 | 11:29 AM (UTC)

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Expert advice for Cilostazol

  • Take it at least half an hour before or two hours after breakfast and dinner.
  • It may take up to 12 weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed.
  • Consult your doctor, if your symptoms do not improve after 4 weeks of treatment.
  • It may cause dizziness. Don't drive or do anything that requires mental focus until you know how it affects you.
  • Do not take it if you have heart failure, persistent chest pain at rest, or have had a heart attack or any heart surgery in the last six months. 

Frequently asked questions for Cilostazol


Q. Can the use of Cilostazol increase the risk of bleeding?

Yes, Cilostazol increases the risk of bleeding. Always be careful while doing activities that may cause an injury or bleeding. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any abnormal bruising or bleeding.

Q. When will I feel better after taking Cilostazol?

Cilostazol reduces your risk of developing blood clots in the blood vessels of your leg, lungs, heart and brain. You may not feel any difference after taking Cilostazol. However, keep taking this medicine as prescribed by your doctor because you will still be getting its full benefits.

Q. For how long should I take Cilostazol?

You should continue to take Cilostazol for as long as your doctor recommends. Your doctor will assess your progress after 3 months of treatment and may recommend you to discontinue Cilostazol if it is not working for you. This medicine helps to control your condition but does not cure it. It is important to keep taking your medicine even if you feel well.

Q. After how many days of taking Cilostazol will I start feeling better?

The improvement is not seen immediately. Your symptoms may start improving after 2-4 weeks of starting the treatment. However, it may take about 12 weeks to notice the full benefits of the medicines.

Q. Should Cilostazol be stopped before surgery?

Yes, if a patient is scheduled to undergo a surgery, then Cilostazol should be stopped 5 days before the surgery. The reason being, Cilostazol increases the risk of bleeding and may lead to excessive bleeding during surgery.

Q. Why is Cilostazol considered harmful for heart failure patients?

Cilostazol should not be given to heart failure patients of any severity because it may worsen heart failure further. Medicines having similar effect (phosphodiesterase inhibitor III) have decreased the lifespan of the patients, and therefore, it is an absolute no for heart failure patients.

Q. Does Cilostazol raise blood pressure or decrease blood pressure?

Since Cilostazol widens blood vessels, it generally decreases blood pressure. Therefore, if you are taking medicines which lower blood pressure, you should be careful. Taking Cilostazol with other blood pressure lowering medicines may decrease your blood pressure to very low levels. Track your blood pressure regularly, and consult your doctor if dose adjustment is required. Cilostazol has also been reported to increase blood pressure and the reason for which is not known.


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