Background: The mechanism for ultraviolet-B (UVB)-associated cutaneous erythema may involve production of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α). Pentoxifylline inhibits TNF-α production. Objective: To assess the effect of oral pentoxifylline on UVB-induced erythema in humans. Methods: Baseline minimum erythema doses (MEDs) for UVB were measured. Subjects received pentoxifylline 400 mg orally every 8 h for 4 doses. MED assays were repeated 2 h after the last dose of pentoxifylline. Pre- and posttreatment MED results were assessed by the paired t test. Results: Oral administration of pentoxifylline to 7 normal adults elevated the MED for UVB in all 7 individuals. Conclusion: Pentoxifylline may diminish the cutaneous sunburn response to UVB radiation when it is administered prior to ultraviolet exposure.

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