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Adverse Side Effects of Polidocanol (Foam Sclerotherapy Chemical)

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    By Katherine Kozlowski, medical author and contributor to Vein News and VeinsVeinsVeins.com


    Guex et al completed a study determining the various adverse side-effects of polidocanol foam, the chemical often used in sclerotherapy injections.


    Out of the 1,605 patients included, 1.1% (n=46) of patients reported adverse events from foam polidocanol injections.


    Adverse reactions are listed below, from most to least common:


    • Visual disturbances (13 patients)
    • Muscular vein thrombosis (8 patients)
    • Headache on treatment day (7 patients)
    • Vasovagal fainting (6 patients)
    • Nausea, vomiting on treatment day (3 patients)
    • Inflammatory reaction (2 patients)
    • Allergic reaction (1 patient)
    • DVT (1 patient)
    • Shortness of breath (1 patient)
    • Chest tightness (1 patient)
    • Paresthesia (1 patient)
    • Re-entry perforator thrombosis (1 patient)
    • Superficial Phlebitis (1 patient)


    The majority of adverse side effects had onset directly after the procedure or within 6 months.




    Guex JJ, Schliephake DE, Joachim O et al. The French Polidocanol Study on Long-Term Side Effects: A Survey Covering 3,357 Patient Years. Dermatol Surg 2010; (36): 993 - 1003.