Is Pentoxifylline compatible with breastfeeding? Do we have alternatives for Pentoxifylline?


June 10, 2018 (Very Low Risk)

A methylxanthine with peripheral vasodilatory properties, reduction of blood viscosity and platelet antiaggregant, improving blood flow. It also inhibits the production of TNFα cytokine.
Indicated in chronic peripheral vascular obstruction of limbs. It has been used experimentally in maternal peripartum cardiomyopathy (Garg 2015), in sepsis, including neonatal (Tarnow 2010) and in necrotizing enterocolitis (Patole 2007).
Administered orally 3 times a day

It is excreted in breast milk in clinically negligible amounts (Witter 1985).

Possible side effects are not frequent.

When breastmilk freezes at -15º, pentoxifylline remains stable for 3 weeks (Bauza 1984).

There are very few bibliographical references. It is classified as having low therapeutic efficacy (Canary Islands Health Service 2011, INSALUD 2001).


We do not have alternatives for Pentoxifylline since it is relatively safe.

Very Low Risk

Compatible. Not risky for breastfeeding or infant.

Low Risk

Moderately safe. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

High Risk

Poorly safe. Evaluate carefully. Use a safer alternative. Read the Comment.

Very High Risk

Not recommended. Cessation of breastfeeding or alternative.


  • Oxpentifylline


  • Πεντοξυφυλλίνη (Greek)
  • بينتوكسيفيلين (Arabic)
  • Пентоксифиллин (Cyrillic)
  • 己酮可可碱 (Chinese)
  • ペントキシフィリン (Japanese)
  • C13 H18 N4 O3 (Molecular formula)
  • 3,7-Dimethyl-1-(5-oxohexyl)xanthine (Chemical name)
  • C04AD03 (ATC Code/s)


  1. Garg J, Palaniswamy C, Lanier GM. Peripartum cardiomyopathy: definition, incidence, etiopathogenesis, diagnosis, and management. Cardiol Rev. 2015Abstract
  2. Dirección General de Farmacia. Servicio Canario de la Salud. Listado de fármacos considerados de Utilidad terapéutica Baja (UTB). 2011 Full text (in our servers)
  3. Tarnow-Mordi W, Isaacs D, Dutta S. Adjunctive immunologic interventions in neonatal sepsis. Clin Perinatol. 2010Abstract
  4. Patole S. Prevention and treatment of necrotising enterocolitis in preterm neonates. Early Hum Dev. 2007Abstract
  5. Área de Gestión de Farmacia. Subdirección General de Atención Primaria. Instituto Nacional de la Salud (INSALUD). Utilidad terapéutica de los medicamentos financiados por el Sistema Nacional de Salud. 2001 Full text (in our servers)
  6. Witter FR, Smith RV. The excretion of pentoxifylline and its metabolites into human breast milk. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1985Abstract
  7. Bauza MT, Smith RV, Knutson DE, Witter FR. Gas chromatographic determination of pentoxifylline and its major metabolites in human breast milk. J Chromatogr. 1984Abstract