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Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 30, 2019.


(SOW dee um tetra DEK il SUL fate)

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Solution, Intravenous, as sulfate:

Sotradecol: 1% (2 mL); 3% (2 mL) [contains benzyl alcohol]

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Sotradecol

Pharmacologic Category

  • Sclerosing Agent


Acts by irritation of the vein intimal endothelium and causes thrombosis formation leading to occlusion of the injected vein

Use: Labeled Indications

Varicose veins: Treatment of small, uncomplicated varicose veins of the lower extremities that show simple dilation with competent valves.


Hypersensitivity to sodium tetradecyl sulfate or any component of the formulation; acute superficial thrombophlebitis; valvular or deep vein incompetence; phlebitis migrans; acute cellulitis; acute infections; allergic conditions; bedridden patients; patients with uncontrolled systemic disease such as diabetes, toxic hyperthyroidism, tuberculosis, asthma, neoplasm, sepsis, blood dyscrasias, and acute respiratory or skin diseases; huge superficial veins with wide open communications to deeper veins; allergic conditions; varicosities caused by abdominal and pelvic tumors (unless tumor has been removed)

Canadian labeling: Additional contraindications (not in US labeling): Recent superficial or deep thrombophlebitis (6 months to 2 years); potential underlying arterial disease; renal or cardiac insufficiencies accompanied by venous stasis and dilatation; angina pectoris; hyperthyroidism

Dosing: Adult

Sclerosing agent: IV: Note: The strength of solution required depends on size and degree of varicosity; in general, the 1% solution is used most often, with the 3% solution being reserved for larger varicosities.

Test dose: 0.5 mL followed by several hours of observation is recommended before larger doses are administered.

Usual dose: 0.5 to 2 mL (preferred maximum: 1 mL) in each vein; maximum dose: 10 mL per treatment session of the 3% solution (Dietzek 2007)

The following concentrations have been recommended upon size of affected vein (Dietzek 2007):

Vessel diameter <1 mm: 0.1% to 0.3% concentration

Vessel diameter 1 to 3 mm: 0.5% to 1% concentration

Vessel diameter 4 to 6 mm: 1% to 2% concentration

Branch varicosities: 2% to 3% concentration

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.


For IV injection only


Store at controlled room temperature.

Drug Interactions

There are no known significant interactions.

Adverse Reactions

<1%, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Anaphylactic shock, anaphylaxis, asthma, cardiac insufficiency, cerebrovascular accident, headache, hypersensitivity reaction, myocardial infarction, nausea, seasonal allergic rhinitis, transient ischemic attacks, urticaria, vomiting


Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Anaphylaxis: Observe for hypersensitivity/anaphylactic reaction; emergency resuscitation equipment should be available.

• Arterial embolism: Stroke, transient ischemic attack, myocardial infarction, and impaired cardiac function have been reported with use. May be caused by air embolism when using sodium tetradecyl sulfate foamed with room air or thromboembolism. Avoid using sodium tetradecyl sulfate foamed with room air; safety and efficacy has not been established.

• Thromboembolism: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) have occurred following treatment.

Disease-related concerns:

• Arteriosclerosis: Use with caution in patients with peripheral arteriosclerosis.

• Thromboangiitis obliterans: Use with caution in patients with thromboangiitis obliterans.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Appropriate use: Valvular and venous competency should be evaluated prior to use.

• Extravasation: Avoid extravasation.

Monitoring Parameters

Monitor for DVT or PE (up to 4 weeks after injection); allergic reactions; pain, urticarial, matting, and pigmentation changes

Pregnancy Risk Factor


Pregnancy Considerations

Reproduction studies have not been conducted.

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience headache, nausea, vomiting, or injection site skin discoloration. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of severe cerebrovascular disease (change in strength on one side is greater than the other, difficulty speaking or thinking, change in balance, or vision changes); severe injection site pain, burning, edema, or irritation; or signs of blood clots (numbness or weakness on one side of the body; pain, redness, tenderness, warmth, or swelling in the arms or legs; change in color of an arm or leg; angina; shortness of breath; tachycardia; or coughing up blood) (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for health care professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience, and judgment in diagnosing, treating, and advising patients.

Further information

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