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What Is Polidocanol Used For?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved using polidocanol as a treatment for two types of common varicose veins. The medicine is injected directly into the vein, where it works to destroy the inner lining. Scar tissue then replaces the vein, which fades away. At this time, there are no off-label indications, and it has not been adequately studied in children.

Approved Uses for Polidocanol

Polidocanol (Asclera™) is a prescription medication approved to treat spider veins and reticular veins.
Reticular veins are a type of varicose veins. They are known as "feeder" veins, since they often supply blood to smaller veins, including spider veins. Like other types of varicose veins, they are caused by faulty valves, which allow blood to pool and become stagnant in the veins.
Although spider veins are similar to reticular veins, they are smaller and closer to the surface of the skin. These veins are often red or blue, and they can look like tree branches or spider webs with their short, jagged lines. Spider veins can be found on the legs and face. They can cover either a small or large area of skin.
Your healthcare provider can diagnose spider and reticular veins by looking at them. In addition to a physical exam, your doctor can take x-rays or ultrasound pictures of the vein to determine the cause and severity. You may want to speak with a doctor who specializes in vein diseases (called a phlebologist).
Talk to your healthcare provider about what treatment options are best for your situation and lifestyle. Not all cases are the same.
If treatment is recommended or desired to get rid of spider veins and reticular veins, some available options include:
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Laser surgery.
(Click Get Rid of Spider Veins for more information.)
Polidocanol is a type of sclerotherapy.

More Headlines in What Is Polidocanol Used For?

‣ How Does It Work?
‣ Can Children Use Polidocanol?
‣ Off-Label Uses
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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