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Current and future drug therapies for claudication

, : Current and future drug therapies for claudication. Vascular Medicine 2(3): 257-262

The primary objectives of claudication treatment are to reduce cardiovascular mortality and improve walking ability. Patients with claudication have 60% mortality over 10 years, with most deaths due to myocardial infarction and stroke. Aggressive risk-factor modification is required in all these patients, particularly smoking cessation, lipid modification, and treatment of hypertension, diabetes and elevated homocysteine levels. Aspirin, ticlopidine and clopidogrel are all effective in reducing the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke and vascular death, and thus antiplatelet therapy should be considered in all claudicants. Patients with disabling claudication should be considered for therapies that relieve claudication pain and improve exercise performance, the most effective being exercise training and smoking cessation. Pentoxifylline, the only approved claudication drug in the United States, has modest efficacy in improving treadmill exercise performance. Other drugs shown to be of some benefit in patients with claudication include propionyl-L-carnitine, cilostazol and possibly prostaglandin derivatives. Several antiplatelet agents and angiogenic growth factors are also being evaluated for the treatment of claudication.


PMID: 9546977

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