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Morrhuate Sodium

Pronunciation: MORE-you-ate SO-dee-uhm
Class: Sclerosing agent

Trade Names

- Injection 5%


Causes venous intima inflammation and thrombus formation, which occludes the injected vein and subsequently forms fibrous tissue that results in partial or complete vein obliteration.

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Indications and Usage

Obliteration of primary varicosed veins consisting of simple dilation with competent valves.


Hypersensitivity to any component of the drug or to fatty acids of cod liver oil; obliterations of superficial veins in patients with persistent occlusion of the deep veins; acute superficial thrombophlebitis; underlying arterial disease; varicosities caused by abdominal and pelvic tumors; uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, thyrotoxicosis, tuberculosis, neoplasms, asthma, sepsis, blood dyscrasias, acute respiratory or skin disease; bedridden patients; continued administration is contraindicated when an unusual local reaction at the injection site or a systemic reaction occurs.

Dosage and Administration


IV Dose varies with size and degree of varicosity. Usual adult dose for small or medium veins is 50 to 100 mg (1 to 2 mL of 5% injection). For large veins, 150 to 250 mg (3 to 5 mL) is used. Therapy may be repeated at 5- to 7-day intervals.

General Advice

  • For IV injection only. Not for intradermal, subcutaneous, IM, IV infusion, or intra-arterial administration.
  • To reduce risk of severe adverse local reactions, including tissue necrosis, ensure that extreme care is used in IV needle placement and that the minimal effective volume is used at each injection site.
  • Visually inspect solution before injection. If solid matter is noted, attempt to dissolve by warming injection solution. Do not use injection if solid matter does not dissolve completely with warming or if solution is discolored or cloudy.
  • Before injecting small veins or when the injection solution is cold, warm vial contents by immersing vial in hot water.
  • To avoid frothing, fill syringe from vial using large bore needle. Use a small bore needle for the injection into a vein.
  • Discard any unused portion of solution. Do not combine unused portions or save unused portions for future use.


Store vials at controlled room temperature (59° to 86°F).

Drug Interactions

None well documented.

Laboratory Test Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions


Drowsiness; headache.


Characterized by dizziness, weakness, vascular collapse, asthma, respiratory depression, GI disturbances (nausea, vomiting), and urticaria; anaphylactic reactions.


Burning or cramping sensations; sloughing and necrosis of tissue with extravasation.


Pulmonary embolism.




Thrombosis extension

The risk of thrombosis extension into the deep venous system exists.

Patient Information

  • Advise patient or caregiver that medication will be prepared and administered by health care professionals in a medical setting.
  • Advise patient that the following will generally occur after injection of morrhuate sodium: the vein promptly becomes hard and swollen for 2 to 4 inches, depending on size and response of vein; after 24 h the vein becomes hard and slightly tender to the touch; an aching sensation and feeling of stiffness usually occurs and last about 24 h; the skin around the injection develops a light-bronze color which usually goes away. Advise patient to notify health care provider if these occur and are intolerable, or if other unexplained reactions develop.
  • Instruct patient to notify health care provider immediately if any of the following occur: persistent pain, hives, ulceration, or skin sloughing at injection site; swelling, pain, and/or redness of leg in which morrhuate sodium was injected; sudden or unexplained shortness of breath and/or chest pain.

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