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Varithena (polidocanol)

Generic name: laureth-9 (polidocanol) (LAWR-eth-9)

Brand names include Asclera and Varithena.
Drug class: sclerosing agents

What is Varithena?

Varithena is a sclerosing (skyler-OH-sing) drug. It is a drug that increases the development of blood clots as well as scar tissue within certain types of veins. This reduces dilation of the veins with enlarged vessels.

Varithena can be used to treat spider veins that are small and uncomplicated, as well as varicose veins in the legs. The medicine is not able to treat varicose veins greater than three millimeters (about one eighth of an inch) in diameter.Varithena isn't a treatment for varicose veins, and the effects of this medicine may not last forever.Varithena is also used for reasons not mentioned in this guideline for medication.

Side effects of Varithena

Contact a medical professional immediately. If you notice any of the following symptoms that indicate an allergic reaction, Sneezing, hives, difficulty breathing, runny nose, or swelling of your lips, face, or tongue

Inform your family members immediately when you experience any serious side effects, like:

  • Intense pain, burning, or any other irritations in your leg;
  • Discoloration or changes to the skin after the injection was administered.
  • A sudden and extreme headache or confusion, issues in speech, vision, or balance
  • The sensation of warmth, pain, swelling, or redness on either leg;
  • Extreme numbness that will not disappear;
  • Trouble breathing, pounding heartbeats, or a fluttering chest trouble breathing, pounding heartbeats, or fluttering in your chest
  • Confusion, feeling like you might pass out.

Common adverse effects of varithena could include:

  • A mild tingling or numbness
  • Mild headache, dizziness;
  • More hair growth in the leg; increased hair growth on the treated leg; or
  • Mild pain or warmth slight pain or warmth itching mild bruising or pain when an injection was administered.

This isn't a complete list of possible side effects, and other side effects could be present. Contact your physician for advice regarding medical effects. You can report any side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Similar/related drugs

Polidocanol, asclera, sotradecol, and sodium tetradecyl sulfate


It is not recommended to take this medication if you suffer from an issue with blood clots like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or swelling of a vein due to the formation of a blood clot or Buerger's disease.

Before you take this drug

It is not recommended to take Varithena in the event that you are allergic to Varithena, lauromacrogol 400, polidocanol, or suffer from any of the following:

  • A blood clot disorder, like deep vein thrombosis (DVT), also known as thrombophlebitis (swelling of the vein due to the presence of a blood clot),
  • Buerger's disease (a bleeding disorder that can affect the legs and arms)

To ensure Varithena is safe for you, inform your physician about all your medical issues or allergies.

FDA pregnancy category C. It isn't known whether varithena can cause harm to a baby who is not yet born. Consult your physician if you are expecting or planning to become pregnant while taking this medication.

It is unclear if laureth-9 is absorbed into breast milk or if it can harm a nursing infant. It is not recommended to breastfeed while using laureth-9.

How to take Varithena?

Varithena injections are made using tiny needles right into a varicose vein or spider vein. The injection will be administered in a hospital or clinic location.The number of injections you will receive will be contingent on the amount of varicose or spider veins being treated.Varithena should be administered gradually into your vein. Your medical professionals will apply a slight tension to your vein throughout the injection.

Inform your healthcare provider. If you experience any burning, pain, or swelling in the area of your IV needle after Varithena is administered, You will be monitored closely after the injection to ensure that the medication does not cause negative consequences.When the needle is taken out of the vein, an elastic bandage or stocking is put on the leg to stop blood clots from forming.

After your treatment session has ended, your therapists might require you to stroll around the area for 15 to 20 minutes. Your physician may advise you to walk every day for a couple of days following the treatment you received with varithena.

It is possible that you will require compression stockings for days or weeks following the treatment. Be sure to follow the instructions of your doctor on how to care for yourself after receiving the medication.

It is possible that you will require additional sessions of treatment with Varithena to get the best treatment for your varicose vein. It is recommended that at least one week be allowed between treatment sessions.

What happens if I miss the dose?

Because you'll receive Varithena in a medical setting, you're not likely to skip a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Get medical attention in an emergency or contact the Poison Help Line toll-free at 1-800-222-1222.

The overdose can cause severe skin reactions like burning, discoloration, or injury where the injection was administered.

What should be avoided?

Avoid strenuous or intense exercise for a period of 2 to 3 days following your treatment. Avoid sitting for prolonged lengths of time, for example, during long-distance travel in a vehicle or in an aircraft.

Beware of exposure to sunlight or tanning beds, saunas, or hot tubs for the duration of 2 or 3 days following your treatment.Do not apply heat pads or ice to the leg you are treating without consulting your physician.

Interaction with other drug

It's unlikely that other medications you take by mouth or inject can affect Varithena, which is used for treating varicose veins. Certain drugs may be incompatible with each other.Inform your physician of all medications you use. This includes prescriptions, over-the-counter, or vitamin-based herbal remedies. Don't start an entirely new medication without consulting your physician.