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Ethamolin

Generic Name: ethanolamine oleate (ETH a NOLE a meen OH lee ate)
Brand Name: Ethamolin

Medically reviewed on November 6, 2017

What is Ethamolin?

Ethamolin is a sclerosing (skler-OS-ing) agent. It works by creating scar tissue inside a swollen or dilated (wider than normal) vein to prevent bleeding.

Ethamolin is used to treat esophageal varices (dilated blood vessels inside the tissues lining the esophagus or upper part of the stomach). Esophageal varices is a life-threatening condition that causes severe bleeding from the esophagus into the throat or intestines. Esophageal varices is caused by liver disease.

Ethamolin is only for treating esophageal varices that have recently bled. This medication is not for treating varicose veins in the legs.

Ethamolin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to Ethamolin or oleic acid (oleo).

Ethamolin will not treat any underlying liver disease.

If possible before receiving this medication, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, heart disease, or lung disease.

In an emergency situation it may not be possible before you are treated to tell your caregivers about your health conditions or if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows that you have received this medication.

Serious side effects of ethanolamine oleate include severe pain or burning in your upper stomach, stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath, fever, chills, cough with yellow or green mucus, or cough or hiccups (may be a sign of fluid buildup around the lungs).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to Ethamolin or oleic acid (oleo).

Ethamolin will not treat any underlying liver disease.

If possible before you receive Ethamolin, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease;

  • heart disease; or

  • lung disease.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Ethamolin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether ethanolamine oleate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

In an emergency situation it may not be possible before you are treated with Ethamolin to tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you have received this medication.

How is Ethamolin given?

Ethamolin is injected directly into the vein. You will receive this injection in a hospital or emergency setting.

This medication is usually given during a bleeding episode and again at 1 week, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months afterward.

Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Ethamolin is given by a healthcare professional in an emergency setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Since Ethamolin is given by a healthcare professional in an emergency setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid after receiving Ethamolin?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Ethamolin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • cough or hiccups (may be a sign of fluid buildup around the lungs);

  • fever, chills, cough with yellow or green mucus;

  • stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath; or

  • severe pain or burning in your upper stomach.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • low fever; or

  • trouble swallowing.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Ethamolin?

There may be other drugs that can interact with Ethamolin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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