According to a new review of the medical proof, the drug pentoxifylline is effective in the treatment of venous leg ulcers. Venous leg ulcers are caused by poor circulation and they are quite common among people aged 60 or over. Standard treatment is by compression stretch bandages, but up to a third of people still have unhealed ulcers after a year of this treatment.
Doctors at the University of New Zealand, have imparted out a review of evidence for pentoxifylline, a drug that improves blood circulation, as a treatment for leg ulcers. The trials covered a total of 600 people. Five of them compared pentoxifylline and compression bandaging with placebo and bandaging and showed the drug in combination with the bandage was 35 per cent more effective in producing complete healing.
Three trials compared pentoxifylline with placebo and in this case the drug was 50 per cent more effective in producing complete healing or substantial improvement. It seems, therefore, that pentoxifylline could be a useful addition or alternative to standard treatment for leg ulcers.