Managing Side Effects of Cilostazol: Tips and Tricks

Managing Side Effects of Cilostazol: Tips and Tricks May, 15 2023

Understanding Cilostazol and Its Side Effects

Before diving into the ways to manage the side effects of Cilostazol, it's essential to understand what this medication is and why it's prescribed. Cilostazol is a medication used to treat intermittent claudication, a condition characterized by leg pain caused by poor circulation. By improving blood flow, Cilostazol helps to reduce pain and increase the distance that I can walk without discomfort.
However, like any medication, Cilostazol can cause side effects. These may include headache, diarrhea, dizziness, and palpitations, among others. While these side effects can be bothersome, there are strategies that I can follow to help manage them. In this article, I'll share some tips and tricks that I've found helpful in my experience with Cilostazol.

Consulting with Your Healthcare Provider

First and foremost, I cannot stress enough the importance of discussing any side effects I'm experiencing with my healthcare provider. They can advise me on whether the side effects are normal or if there's cause for concern. Additionally, they can suggest adjustments to my dosage or recommend alternative treatments if necessary.
It's also essential to inform my healthcare provider of any other medications or supplements I'm taking, as they may interact with Cilostazol and contribute to side effects. Keeping an open line of communication with my healthcare provider ensures that I'm receiving the best care possible.

Staying Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day not only benefits my overall health, but it can also help to minimize certain side effects of Cilostazol, such as headaches and diarrhea. Staying hydrated may even help to prevent dizziness caused by low blood pressure.
To ensure I'm drinking enough water, I aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses per day. Carrying a water bottle with me and setting reminders on my phone are helpful strategies to remind myself to drink water regularly.

Easing into Physical Activity

While Cilostazol improves circulation and reduces leg pain, it's crucial not to overdo physical activity, especially at the beginning of treatment. Starting with low-intensity exercises like walking or swimming and gradually increasing intensity can help my body adjust to the medication while minimizing the risk of dizziness or fainting.
As I continue to take Cilostazol and my symptoms improve, I can work with my healthcare provider to develop an appropriate exercise plan tailored to my needs and abilities.

Managing Headaches

Headaches are a common side effect of Cilostazol, but there are ways to cope with them. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help alleviate headache pain, but it's essential to consult with my healthcare provider before taking any additional medications.
Other strategies for managing headaches include relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation, applying a cold or warm compress to my forehead, and ensuring I'm getting enough sleep each night.

Addressing Digestive Issues

Diarrhea is another side effect that I may encounter while taking Cilostazol. To manage this symptom, I can try eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, and avoid high-fat or spicy foods that may exacerbate diarrhea. Additionally, over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications may be helpful, but it's essential to discuss their use with my healthcare provider before taking them.
If I experience constipation as a side effect, increasing my fiber intake, staying hydrated, and incorporating regular physical activity can all help to alleviate this issue.

Monitoring Blood Pressure

As Cilostazol can cause dizziness due to low blood pressure, it's essential to monitor my blood pressure regularly, especially during the initial stages of treatment. This can help my healthcare provider determine if any adjustments to my medication or treatment plan are necessary.
If I experience dizziness, I can try sitting or lying down until the feeling passes, and it's crucial to rise slowly from a seated or lying position to avoid sudden drops in blood pressure.

Managing Palpitations

Palpitations, or an irregular or rapid heartbeat, can be an unsettling side effect of Cilostazol. To manage this symptom, I can try practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, to help calm my nervous system. Limiting my caffeine intake and avoiding stimulant medications can also help to reduce the risk of palpitations.
It's essential to discuss any heart-related side effects with my healthcare provider, as they may need to adjust my treatment plan or monitor my heart function more closely.

Developing a Support System

Dealing with side effects from any medication can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. Developing a support system of friends, family, or even online support groups can provide encouragement and understanding as I navigate my journey with Cilostazol. Sharing my experiences and learning from others can be incredibly beneficial in managing side effects and maintaining a positive outlook.

Being Patient with the Process

Finally, it's important to remember that adjusting to a new medication like Cilostazol can take time. While side effects can be frustrating, they often diminish or disappear entirely as my body adapts to the medication. Being patient with the process, communicating with my healthcare provider, and implementing the strategies outlined in this article can help me manage side effects and improve my quality of life while taking Cilostazol.