What is Asclera® (pronounced uh-SKLAIR-uh)?
Asclera® (polidocanol) Injection is a prescription medicine that is used in a procedure called sclerotherapy and administered by a healthcare provider to treat two types of veins in your legs.
- Uncomplicated spider veins (very small varicose veins ≤1 mm in diameter)
- Uncomplicated small varicose veins (1 to 3 mm in diameter) known as reticular veins
Why should I ask for Asclera® by name?
The Asclera® difference is in the quality and consistency of the medicine. When your provider uses FDA-approved Asclera®, you can be assured that the drug was created using strict quality controls. In addition, Asclera has been studied in patients and has been evaluated for its safety and effectiveness.
Conversely, compounded medications like non-Asclera® polidocanol are not approved by the FDA. They have not been evaluated or verified for safety or effectiveness. In some cases, the drug may have even been created in unsanitary conditions. Recent FDA investigations4 have shown that poor compounding practices can result in serious drug quality problems, such as:
- too much or too little of the active ingredient
- additional ingredients that you may not be aware of
Be sure to ask your provider for FDA-approved Asclera® for treatment of your spider veins in your legs.
FDA Guidelines state: “Our goal will be to make sure that patients do not receive compounded drugs unnecessarily when an FDA-approved drug is appropriate to meet their medical needs.”
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How often do I need treatment to see results?
The number and frequency of treatments depends on the size of the vessels and their location. Ask your provider about an individualized treatment approach that is right for you.
How does Asclera® work?
Asclera® is a sclerosing agent that is injected into the vein. It works by damaging the endothelium, the inside lining of blood vessels. This causes blood platelets and cellular debris to attach to the lining of the vessels. Eventually, cellular debris and platelets cause the blood vessel to clot. Over time, the clotted vein will be replaced with tissue.
How satisfied are patients who use Asclera®?
On average, 87% of clinical study patients were satisfied or very satisfied with their Asclera® treatment.2,3
How long is each Asclera® session?
A typical session lasts 15 to 45 minutes. Generally, 1-3 injections may be necessary to treat a given spider or reticular vein. Repeat treatment sessions may be necessary. Any additional treatment sessions are usually separated by 1 to 2 weeks.
What should I expect after being treated with Asclera®?
Following treatment, you’ll need to wear compression stockings day and night for 2 to 3 days, then as needed for the following 2 to 3 weeks. Compression stockings are designed to apply pressure to your lower legs, helping to maintain blood flow, and reduce discomfort and swelling. Compression helps your legs heal and is necessary to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
You should also walk 15-20 minutes immediately after treatment and daily for a few days.
Are there activities I should avoid after receiving an Asclera® Injection?
For 2 to 3 days following the treatment, avoid:
- Heavy exercise
- Long plane flights
- Hot baths, hot tubs, or saunas
Be sure to ask your healthcare provider if you are uncertain about any activities you should avoid post-procedure.
Are there any possible side effects to Asclera® treatments?
Temporary side effects may occur at the site of the injection, including:
- Raised red areas
- Small skin sores
- Darkened skin in the form of lines or spots
- Multiple tiny red blood vessels
These side effects usually go away within a few days to several weeks. Some side effects may take months or years to resolve.
Although rare, some individuals may experience serious side effects, which may require treatment. These can include:
- An allergic reaction. 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. A provider should be prepared to treat anaphylaxis appropriately
- In rare cases, formation of small “burns” or ulcers form, usually due to leakage of Asclera® into the skin. These will heal in time but may leave a scar
- Inadvertent perivascular injection of Asclera® can cause pain. If pain is severe, a local anesthetic (without adrenaline) may be injected
Is there any reason I should not be treated with Asclera®?
You should not be treated with Asclera® if you:
- Have a known allergy to polidocanol
- Have an acute vein or blood clotting (thromboembolic) disease
- Are pregnant or nursing
Be sure to tell your provider about all the medicines you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal products.