Sclerotherapy is used to obliterate spider veins or varicose veins, which can appear anywhere on the leg. The veins are injected with a concent...

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Sclerotherapy appears to work well for most patients. It is estimated that as many as 50-70% of injected veins may be eliminated with each injection session. Less than 10% patients who undergo sclerotherapy for varicose veins do not respond to the injections at all. In such cases, patients may be eligible for laser therapy or surgery.


Tetracycline or Minocin®, both antibiotics, may possibly cause a staining of the skin if taken 7-10 days before or after sclerotherapy. Patients should inform their doctor of any medications they are taking before the procedure.

Aspirin, ibuprofen (like Advil®, Motrin® or Nuprin®) or other anti-inflammatories should not be taken 48 hours before or after sclerotherapy, because these medications may interfere with the action of the sclerosing agent. Tylenol® is permitted. Patients should consult their doctor for specific guidelines before discontinuing any medication.

Prednisone also decreases the effectiveness of the sclerosing agent. Patients should consult the doctor who prescribed the prednisone to see if it can be safely discontinued for 48 hours before the sclerotherapy procedure.

It is not recommended to apply lotion to the legs before or after sclerotherapy.


Serious medical complications from sclerotherapy are extremely rare when a qualified practitioner performs the procedure. However risks include: blood clots, skin discoloration (which can take months to one year to fade), severe inflammation, telangiectatic matting (fine reddish blood vessels around the treated area), allergic reactions to the sclerosing solution and scars.

If there is an underlying problem with the venous system, the veins will recur.

Author Information

This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (


American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 9 May 2006.

Heart and Vascular Institute. Sclerotherapy. 9 May 2006.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Sclerotherapy. 9 May 2006.

Tisi PV, Beverley CA. Injection sclerotherapy for varicose veins. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002;(1):CD001732.

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.

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