Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Cirrhosis: Vasoconstrictor Medicines for Variceal Bleeding
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.footnote 1
Side effects of these medicines may include:
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.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerW. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
Current as ofNovember 20, 2015
Current as of:
November 20, 2015
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.