Side Effects of Cilostazol: What You Need to Know

Side Effects of Cilostazol: What You Need to Know
Apr 27 2023 Damien Fairweather

Introduction to Cilostazol

Cilostazol is a medication that is commonly prescribed to treat intermittent claudication, a condition where pain or discomfort occurs in the legs due to poor blood flow. As a blogger who has used this medication, I want to share with you the potential side effects that you need to be aware of before taking Cilostazol. In this article, we will explore the various side effects, how to manage them, and when to seek medical help.

Common Side Effects of Cilostazol

Like any other medication, Cilostazol can cause a variety of side effects. Some of the most common ones include headache, dizziness, diarrhea, and rapid or irregular heartbeat. I personally experienced headaches and dizziness when I first started taking the medication, but these side effects subsided after a few weeks. It is important to note that these common side effects are usually mild and do not require medical attention unless they become severe or persistent.

Less Common Side Effects

There are some less common side effects that you may experience while taking Cilostazol. These can include swelling in the legs or feet, nausea, vomiting, and difficulties in breathing. I have had mild swelling in my feet, which my doctor said was normal and not a cause for concern. However, if you experience any of these side effects and they become severe or persistent, it is essential to consult your healthcare provider.

Rare but Serious Side Effects

Although rare, there are some serious side effects that can occur while taking Cilostazol. These can include chest pain, severe allergic reactions, and a decrease in white blood cell count. I have been fortunate not to experience any of these serious side effects. However, if you notice any signs of these severe reactions, such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, or symptoms of infection, it is crucial to seek medical help immediately.

Managing Side Effects of Cilostazol

It is essential to know how to manage the side effects of Cilostazol to continue with your treatment effectively. For common side effects like headaches, over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate the discomfort. If you experience diarrhea, it is vital to stay hydrated and consider taking over-the-counter remedies to help manage the symptoms. As for dizziness, it is crucial to stand up slowly and give your body time to adjust. If you are concerned about any side effects, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Interactions with Other Medications

Cilostazol may interact with other medications, leading to an increased risk of side effects or decreased effectiveness. Some of the medications that can interact with Cilostazol include anticoagulants, antiplatelet drugs, and certain antidepressants. I had to adjust the dosage of my antidepressant medication while taking Cilostazol to avoid potential interactions. It is crucial to inform your healthcare provider of all the medications you are taking to ensure they can prescribe the most effective and safe treatment plan for you.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is important to discuss the use of Cilostazol with your healthcare provider. The safety of this medication during pregnancy is not well-established, and it is unknown whether Cilostazol passes into breast milk. In my case, my doctor advised against using Cilostazol while pregnant and recommended alternative treatments for my intermittent claudication symptoms.

When to Seek Medical Help

It is vital to know when to seek medical help when experiencing side effects of Cilostazol. If you notice any signs of a severe allergic reaction, symptoms of infection, or severe chest pain, it is essential to contact your healthcare provider or seek emergency medical help immediately. Additionally, if you experience any side effects that are persistent or become severe, it is crucial to consult your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action.


In conclusion, being aware of the side effects of Cilostazol is crucial for anyone considering taking this medication for intermittent claudication. While some side effects are common and manageable, others can be severe and require immediate medical attention. By understanding the potential side effects and knowing when to seek help, you can ensure a safe and effective treatment experience with Cilostazol.