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Cilostazol is used to treat cramp-like pain in legs caused by insufficient blood supply while walking (a condition called intermittent claudication).

How it works

Cilostazol belongs to a group of medicines called phosphodiesterase type 3 inhibitors. It acts by widening the blood vessels and reducing the clotting activity (clumping) of some blood cells called platelets inside vessels. It improves the blood circulation in legs and helps to get rid of pain while walking.

Common side effects

Bruise, Bleeding, Dizziness, Dry mouth, Headache, Altered heart rate, Muscle pain, Stomach pain, Nausea, Diarrhoea


Expert advice

  • Take cilostazol tablet 1-2 hours before or after meals. minutes before breakfast and the evening meal.
  • Do not drive or use machinery that required you to be alert because you may feel sleepy or dizzy while being treated with cilostazol.
  • Do not take cilostazol, if you have congestive heart failure. Cilostazol can make this condition worse.
  • It may take up to 12 weeks of using cilostazol before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed.
  • Consult your doctor, if your symptoms do not improve after 4 weeks of treatment.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is cilostazol an anticoagulant (blood thinner)?
No, cilostazol is an anti-platelet drug and a vasodilator. It works by preventing platelets (blood cells) from sticking together by widening blood vessels in the legs. This helps the blood cells to move more easily and increases blood flow.
 Q. Is cilostazol a narcotic, beta blocker, or statin?
No, cilostazol is not a narcotic, beta blocker or a statin.
Q. Is cilostazol safe?
Cilostazol is safe if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)