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Varithena

Generic Name: polidocanol (pol-i-DOE-kuh-nol)
Brand Name: Examples include Asclera and Varithena

Varithena is used for:

Treating varicose veins.

Varithena is a sclerosing agent. It works by blocking certain veins, which then get replaced by connective tissue.

Do NOT use Varithena if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Varithena
  • you have a blood clot
  • you are pregnant

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Varithena:

Some medical conditions may interact with Varithena. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have any artery problem (eg, hardening of the arteries, thromboangiitis obliterans or Buerger disease) or a history of blood clots
  • if you are not able to move around well
  • if you have had surgery within the past 3 months or you have been in the hospital for a long time

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Varithena. However, no specific interactions with Varithena are known at this time.

Ask your health care provider if Varithena may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Varithena:

Use Varithena as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Varithena is given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • After treatment, keep bandages dry and in place for as long as you have been told by your doctor.
  • After treatment, you will need to wear compression stockings on the treated legs and walk around every day for some time. You will also need to avoid heavy exercise and avoid long amounts of time not doing anything for some time after treatment Follow what your doctor has told you closely.
  • You may need to avoid things like sunbathing, hot baths, and saunas. Talk with your doctor.
  • If you miss a dose of Varithena, call your doctor to find out what to do.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Varithena.

Important safety information:

  • Severe and sometimes fatal allergic reactions have happened with Varithena. You will be watched closely for at least 10 minutes after receiving Varithena. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Varithena may cause tissue damage if it is given into an artery or if it leaks from the vein. Tell your nurse if you have any redness, burning, pain, swelling, blisters, skin sores, or leaking of fluid where the drug is going into your body.
  • Blood clots have happened with Varithena. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use Varithena if you are pregnant. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using Varithena.

Possible side effects of Varithena:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Bruising or other irritation where the injection was given.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; coughing up blood; shortness of breath; swelling, warmth, numbness, change of color, or pain in a leg or arm.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center ( http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Varithena:

Varithena is handled and stored by a health care provider. You will not store it at home. Keep all medicines out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Varithena, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Varithena is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Varithena or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Varithena. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Varithena. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Varithena.

Review Date: August 8, 2016

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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