A review of the potential benefits of pentoxifylline in diabetic and non-diabetic proteinuria

J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2011;14(1):128-37. doi: 10.18433/j3bp4g.


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) as a considerable health problem may have proteinuria as the main complication and strong risk factor to reach end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Decreasing proteinuria is the mainstay of therapy in order to delay the progression of CKD. Current therapeutic regimens provide only partial renoprotection, and a substantial number of patients who have proteinuria progress to ESRD. Pentoxifylline (PTF) is known for its potent inhibitory effects against cell proliferation and inflammation which play important roles in CKD progression. Data derived from both human studies and animal models demonstrated that PTF has broad-spectrum renoprotective effects and therefore, provide a scientific basis for the use of PTF as an anti-proteinuric agent. Conclusion of this review is that short-term use of PTF may produce a significant reduction of proteinuria in subjects with diabetic and also non-diabetic kidney diseases but the reports of long-term use of PTF also show that urinary protein excretion exhibits a progressive and sustained reduction in patients treated with PTF. Whether the long-term use of PTF could be a pharmacological alternative for delaying or preventing the development of end stage renal disease, is among the questions that remained to be appropriately answered in large-scale clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / complications
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / drug therapy
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / physiopathology
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / complications
  • Kidney Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / prevention & control
  • Pentoxifylline / administration & dosage
  • Pentoxifylline / pharmacology
  • Pentoxifylline / therapeutic use*
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Proteinuria / etiology
  • Proteinuria / prevention & control*
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors


  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors
  • Pentoxifylline