Asclera Overview

  • Asclera (also called Polidocanol; Aethoxysclerol--Europe) is a US FDA-approved drug for treating spider veins.
  • Asclera causes undesired spider veins to seal shut without pain other than the prick of an injection needle.
  • Other FDA-approved "sclerosants", sodium morrhuate and sodium tetradecyl sulfate, can cause severe or mild pain on injection, and may have more side effects compared to Asclera.  One of the most common vein treatments in the USA for years has been hypertonic saline, which is not FDA-approved for sclerotherapy.
  • Asclera side effects (bruising, hemosidering staining, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and occasional blister, ulceration, and/or scar) seen with other sclerosants (FDA-approved or not). Merz, the maker of Asclera warns of another risk that "Asclera (polidocanol) Injection is contraindicated for patients with known allergy (anaphylaxis) to polidocanol and patients with acute thromboembolic diseases. Severe allergic reactions have been reported following polidocanol use, including anaphylactic reactions, some of them fatal. Severe reactions are most frequent with use of larger volumes (>3 mL). The dose of polidocanol should therefore be minimized."

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