Background and symptoms

Is Varithena right for you?

Start the discussion with your doctor today. Find a Varithena certified doctor.

How varicose veins form

Varicose veins are enlarged, bulging veins that most often occur in the leg's great saphenous vein (GSV) system. Varicose veins occur when the tiny valves inside the veins become weaker, causing blood to back up and make the veins swell. Varicose veins are usually visible and can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as swelling and achiness. Varithena (polidocanol injectable foam) treats varicose veins caused by problems with the GSV system. Varithena does not treat all forms of varicose veins. Please talk with your doctor to see if Varithena is right for you.  

Why varicose veins form

Tiny valves help the
leg veins work against
gravity to push blood
back to the heart.
But if valves weaken,
blood can leak backwards
and pool, resulting in
varicose veins.


Common risk factors

Family history, aging, being overweight or obese, and working at jobs requiring prolonged standing can increase the risk for varicose veins.

Common symptoms

Varicose veins can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as heaviness, achiness, swelling, throbbing, and itching. Varicose veins often bulge above the surface of the skin, but they are not always visible. Learn more about Varithena treatment here.

About insurance coverage

Insurance carriers may cover varicose vein treatment. Coverage may depend on the severity of the varicose veins and symptoms. If you have questions about your coverage, your doctor's office may be able to assist you.

Find a varicose vein treatment specialist in your area.

Varicose veins occur most often in the leg's GSV system.


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

This website is intended for visitors from the United States.


Varithena® (polidocanol injectable foam) is a prescription medicine used to treat varicose veins caused by problems with the great saphenous vein (GSV) and other related veins in the leg's GSV system. Varithena® improves symptoms related to or caused by varicose veins, and the appearance of varicose veins.


You should not be treated with Varithena® if you are allergic to polidocanol or have clots in your blood vessels.

Severe allergic reactions have been reported in people treated with liquid forms of polidocanol and some patients have died from these reactions. Varithena® is a foam made from polidocanol. A healthcare professional will observe you for signs of allergic reactions for at least 10 minutes after you are treated with Varithena®.

Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you have:

  • Arterial disease (a disease of the blood vessels)
  • Reduced mobility
  • A history of blood clots in the veins or lungs
  • Had major surgery in the past 3 months
  • Recently had a long hospital stay
  • Become pregnant or were recently pregnant

The most common side effects seen with Varithena® are leg pain or discomfort, injection site bruising or pain, and potentially serious blood clots in the leg veins. These are not all the possible side effects of Varithena®. Tell your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. You can also report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. Varithena® is administered by your doctor. Doctors using Varithena® must be experienced in vein procedures and trained in using Varithena®.

See Full Prescribing Information for Varithena®.