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Home > Living Well > Health Library > Cirrhosis: Vasoconstrictor Medicines for Variceal Bleeding
Vasoconstrictor medicines are used to treat sudden (acute) bleeding from enlarged veins (varices). They make small blood vessels constrict, which reduces blood flow to veins that carry blood to the liver (portal veins).
These medicines also may be used along with endoscopic treatment. Adding medicine to endoscopic treatment works better to control bleeding than endoscopic treatment alone.footnote 1
Side effects of vasoconstrictor medicines may include irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), headache, or dizziness. Other side effects may include diarrhea, too much sugar in the blood (hyperglycemia), and formation of gallstones with long-term use.
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.
Current as of:
October 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family MedicineW. Thomas London MD - Hepatology
Current as of: October 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & W. Thomas London MD - Hepatology
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