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Cirrhosis: Vasoconstrictor Medicines for Variceal Bleeding


Topic Overview

Medicines that constrict small blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the portal vein are used to treat sudden (acute) bleeding from enlarged veins (varices) in the digestive tract (variceal bleeding).

Octreotide is the main medicine used in the United States to treat variceal bleeding.

These medicines also may be used along with endoscopic treatment. Adding medicine to endoscopic treatment works better to control bleeding than endoscopic treatment alone.1

Side effects of these medicines may include:

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. Garcia-Tsao G, et al. (2007). Prevention and management of gastroesophageal varices and variceal hemorrhage in cirrhosis. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 102(9): 2086–2102.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerW. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
Last RevisedJanuary 17, 2012

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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