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Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate (Monograph)

Brand name: Sotradecol
Drug class: Sclerosing Agents
Chemical name: 7-ethyl-2-methyl-4-hendecanol sulfate sodium salt
Molecular formula: C14H29NaSO4
CAS number: 139-88-8

Medically reviewed by on May 18, 2023. Written by ASHP.


Sclerosing agent; anionic surfactant and detergent.

Uses for Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate


Treatment of small, uncomplicated varicose veins of the lower extremity. Use only for veins showing simple dilation with competent valves; do not use in patients with clinically important valvular or deep vein incompetence. Consider benefit-to-risk ratio in selected patients who are great surgical risks. (See Cautions.)

Treatment of bleeding esophageal varices [off-label]; designated an orphan drug by FDA for this use.

Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate Dosage and Administration


IV Administration

Administer only by IV injection. Avoid extravasation. (See Administration Precautions under Cautions.)

Commercially available as 1 or 3% solution in vials (containing a total of 20 or 60 mg, respectively, in each 2-mL vial). Has been administered as an endovenous foam or microfoam; these preparations not commercially available in US and extemporaneous preparation of sodium tetradecyl sulfate foam not approved by FDA.

Should be administered by health-care personnel experienced in venous anatomy and familiar with proper injection technique for sclerotherapy. Consult specialized references for specific injection technique and procedures for sclerotherapy.

Because of risk of anaphylactic shock (see Sensitivity Reactions under Cautions), inject initial test dose of 0.5 mL of sodium tetradecyl sulfate solution into a varicosity and observe patient for several hours before administering a second or larger dose.

Use adequate posttreatment compression. (See Thrombotic Complications under Cautions.)



Uncomplicated Varicose Veins in Lower Extremity

Concentration of sodium tetradecyl sulfate solution and injection volume to be used depend on type and size of varicose veins. Use low concentrations for small diameter veins (e.g., telangiectasia). Generally use 1% solution; 3% solution preferred for larger varicosities.

5–20 mg of the 1% sodium tetradecyl sulfate solution (0.5–2 mL, preferably ≤2) or 15–60 mg of the 3% sodium tetradecyl sulfate solution (0.5–2 mL, preferably ≤2) recommended by manufacturer for each injection site. Do not exceed 2 mL per injection site or 10 mL per treatment session.

Prescribing Limits


Uncomplicated Varicose Veins in Lower Extremity

Maximum 2 mL of 1 or 3% solution (20 or 60 mg, respectively) per injection site; maximum 10 mL per treatment session.

Special Populations

No special population dosage recommendations.

Cautions for Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate


  • History of hypersensitivity reactions to sodium tetradecyl sulfate or history of allergic reactions. (See Sensitivity Reactions under Cautions.)

  • Acute superficial thrombophlebitis, valvular or deep vein incompetence, huge superficial veins with wide open communications to deeper veins, phlebitis migrans, or varicosities caused by abdominal and pelvic tumors (unless tumor has been removed).

  • Bedridden patients or patients with acute cellulitis, acute infections, or uncontrolled systemic diseases (e.g., diabetes, toxic hyperthyroidism, tuberculosis, asthma, neoplasm, sepsis, blood dyscrasias, acute respiratory disease, skin disease).


Sensitivity Reactions

Severe allergic reactions (e.g., anaphylactic shock), including some fatalities, reported. One reported fatality occurred in patient with history of asthma. (See Contraindications under Cautions.)

Other allergic reactions, including hives, asthma, and hay fever, also reported.

Consider possibility of anaphylactic reaction; be prepared to appropriately treat such reactions. Have emergency resuscitation equipment immediately available.

Because of risk of anaphylactic shock, inject an initial volume of 0.5 mL into a varicosity and observe patient for several hours before administering second or larger dose.

Administration Precautions

Should be administered only by health-care personnel experienced in venous anatomy and diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the venous system and who are familiar with proper injection techniques for sclerotherapy.

Use extreme care when placing IV needle into target vein; use smallest effective volume of solution at each injection site.

Avoid extravasation since it may cause severe adverse local effects, including sloughing and tissue necrosis.

Thrombotic Complications

Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism have developed following sclerotherapy of superficial varicosities. Embolism may occur as long as 4 weeks after sodium tetradecyl sulfate treatment.

Because of danger of thrombosis extension into the deep venous system, perform thorough preinjection evaluation for valvular competency and only inject small amount (maximum 2 mL) of sodium tetradecyl sulfate solution slowly into the varicosity.

Determine deep venous patency using noninvasive testing (e.g., duplex ultrasound). Do not undertake venous sclerotherapy if tests such as Trendelenburg and Perthes, and angiography indicate significant valvular or deep venous incompetence.

Posttreatment follow-up of sufficient duration is necessary to assess for development of deep vein thrombosis.

Adequate posttreatment compression may decrease incidence of deep vein thrombosis.

Use with extreme caution in patients with underlying arterial disease, such as marked peripheral arteriosclerosis or thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger Disease).

Specific Populations


Category C.

Use during pregnancy only if clearly needed and if benefits outweigh risks.


Not known whether distributed into human milk; use with caution in nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

Safety and efficacy not established.

Common Adverse Effects

Injection site reactions (pain, urticaria, ulceration), discoloration along path of sclerosed vein segment (may be permanent), allergic reactions, mild systemic reactions (headache, nausea, vomiting).

Interactions for Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate

Specific Drugs





No well-controlled interaction studies in patients receiving antiovulatory agents; fatality reported in patient receiving an antiovulatory agent at the time of sodium tetradecyl sulfate treatment

Evaluate and use clinical judgment prior to sodium tetradecyl sulfate treatment in patients receiving antiovulatory agents

Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate Pharmacokinetics




Solution for IV Injection



For information on systemic interactions resulting from concomitant use, see Interactions.

For information on systemic interactions resulting from concomitant use, see Interactions.

Drug Compatibility

Syringe Compatibility1




  • An anionic surfactant and detergent used as a sclerosing agent. Commercially available in the US as a sterile, nonpyrogenic 1 or 3% solution.

  • Following IV injection, causes inflammation of intima and thrombus formation which usually occludes the target vein. Subsequent formation of fibrous tissue results in partial or complete vein obliteration; effect on vein may or may not be permanent.

Advice to Patients

  • Because of the risk of thrombosis, a thorough evaluation for valvular competency is necessary prior to sodium tetradecyl sulfate treatment.

  • Advise patient that adequate posttreatment compression may decrease the incidence of deep vein thrombosis.

  • Importance of posttreatment follow-up of sufficient duration to assess for development of deep vein thrombosis.

  • Importance of informing clinicians of existing or contemplated concomitant therapy, including prescription and OTC drugs, as well as any concomitant illnesses.

  • Importance of women informing clinicians if they are or plan to become pregnant or plan to breast-feed.

  • Importance of informing patients of other important precautionary information. (See Cautions.)


Excipients in commercially available drug preparations may have clinically important effects in some individuals; consult specific product labeling for details.

Please refer to the ASHP Drug Shortages Resource Center for information on shortages of one or more of these preparations.

Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate


Dosage Forms


Brand Names



Injection, for IV use only







AHFS DI Essentials™. © Copyright 2023, Selected Revisions May 28, 2013. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 4500 East-West Highway, Suite 900, Bethesda, Maryland 20814.

† Off-label: Use is not currently included in the labeling approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

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