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What treatment is available for intermittent claudication?

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Quick Answer

Intermittent claudication can be treated with lifestyle changes, medications that reduce blood clotting, medications that increase blood flow, statins, angioplasty, or vascular surgery, says Mayo Clinic. Intermittent claudication is pain caused by too little blood flow, generally to the legs.

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Full Answer

Intermittent claudication is symptom of peripheral artery disease, a treatable circulation problem. It most often occurs during exercise that increases blood flow to the extremities. Although it usually manifests in the legs, it can occur in the arms, according to Mayo Clinic.

The first step in treating intermittent claudication is adopting a healthier lifestyle, which generally means more exercise and no smoking. If this is not sufficient, then doctors may prescribe aspirin, Persantine or Plavix to prevent blood clotting, states Mayo Clinic. Additionally, Pletal or Trental may be used to improve blood flow, and statins may be prescribed as well.

If medication does not correct the problem, doctors may recommend an angioplasty. During this procedure, doctors widen damaged arteries using a narrow tube with an inflatable balloon on the end and often insert a stent to keep the artery open. If the artery is too damaged to repair, vascular surgery is an option. Doctors replace the damaged blood vessel with a healthy blood vessel from another part of the body, according to Mayo Clinic.

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