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(po-li-doe-ka-nole) ,


(trade name)


Therapeutic: sclerosing agents
Pregnancy Category: C


Treatment of uncomplicated spider veins (varicose veins ≤1 mm in diameter) and uncomplicated reticular veins (varicose veins 1 to 3 mm in diameter) in legs.


Causes local endothelial damage following intravenous administration, followed by platelet aggregation and attachment to the venous wall, resulting in a dense network of platelets, cellular debris, and fibrin, which occludes the vein. This is followed by replacement with connective fibrous tissue.

Therapeutic effects

Improved appearance of spider/reticular veins.


Absorption: Local IV administration results in low systemic blood levels.
Distribution: Action is primarily local.
Metabolism and Excretion: Unkown.
Half-life: 1.5 hr.

Time/action profile (vessel occlusion)

IVrapid3–6 wkunknown


Contraindicated in: Known allergy; Known thromboembolic disease; Obstetric / Should not be used during pregnancy; Lactation: Avoid breastfeeding.
Use Cautiously in: Pediatric: Safe and effective use in children has not been established.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects


  • mild injection site reactions


  • allergic reactions including anaphylaxis (life-threatening)


Drug-Drug interaction

None noted.


Local: Intravenous (Adults) Spider veins—0.1–0.3 mL of 0.5% solution for each injection into each varicose vein; Reticular veins—0.1–0.3 mL of 1% solution for each injection into each varicose vein. Not to exceed 10 mL/treatment session.


Solution for local intravenous injection (contains ethanol): 5 mg/mL in 2 mL ampules (0.5%), 10 mg/mL in 2 mL ampules (1.0%)

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Assess extent of spider and/or reticular veins in lower extremities.
  • Monitor for signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis (rash, pruritus, laryngeal edema, wheezing) for at least 15–20 min following administration.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Activity intolerance (Indications)
Disturbed body image (Indications)


  • Intravenous Administration
  • Administer undiluted. Using a fine-gauge (26 or 30 gauge) needle, insert needle tangentially into affected vein and inject solution slowly while needle is still in vein. Apply only gently pressure during injection to prevent vein rupture. If repeated treatments are needed, separate by 1–2 wks.
    • Inadvertent perivascular injection may cause pain. If severe, inject local anesthetic.
    • Intra-arterial injection can cause severe necrosis, ischemia, or gangrene; consult a vascular surgeon immediately if this occurs.
    • Following injection, apply compression via stocking or bandage to reduce risk of deep vein thrombisis. After treatment session, encourage patient to walk for 15–20 minutes.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to wear compression stockings or support hose on treated legs continuously for 2–3 days and for 2–3 wks during daytime. Compression stockings or support hose should be thigh high or knee high depending on area treated.
  • Advise patient to walk for 15–20 min immediately after procedure and daily for next few days.
  • Advise patient to avoid heavy exercise, sunbathing, long plane flights, and hot baths or sauna for 2–3 days following treatment.
  • Advise patient to notify health care professional if pregnancy is planned or suspected or if breastfeeding.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • ↓ in size and visibility of spider and/or uncomplicated reticular veins in lower extremities.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Ethanol is superior to polidocanol, sodium morrhuate, and Ethibloc (4).
Detergents such as ethanoloamine oleate, polidocanol, and sotradecol have been reported, but are generally avoided because of increased recurrence risk.
Creton and Uhl treated 129 limbs with recurrent varicose veins using foam sclerotherapy with 1% polidocanol combined with surgical treatment.
Polidocanol 2-4% in Lotio alba (aqueous lotion) and topical antiseptic.
A systematic review of four injection therapies for lateral epicondylosis: prolotherapy, polidocanol, whole blood and platelet-rich plasma.
The parents were advised to use wet sterile gauze at room temperature in order to brush gently the dry skin of the infant 3 to 4 times a day, to continuously apply, even in quiet periods, emollient creams which contain polidocanol, urea and salicylic acid, especially in hyperkeratosic lesions, and to avoid dermatocosmetics which contain parabens or preservatives.
This would then place the effect of such a therapy on the same level as other treatments which set out to ablate the aberrant tissue such as cryotherapy, or injection of sclerosing agents (scar tissue forming agents) such as phenol, polidocanol or sodium tetradecyl sulphate (STS)--which are examples of agents that are used in the chemical sclerosing of varicose veins.
A systematic review of four injections therapies for lateral epicondylosis: prolotherapy, polidocanol, whole blood, and platelet-rich plasma.
By lauromacrogol (also known as polidocanol 100 mg/10 ml Shaanxi Tianyu Pharmaceutical Co.
Lee, "Foam sclerotherapy using polidocanol for balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration (BRTO)," European Radiology, vol.
6] have reported favourable results with 3% polidocanol (hydroxypolyethoxydodecan) for sclerotherapy in ABC.