The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Asclera (polidocanol) injection for the treatment of swollen or twisted varicose veins.

Asclera is indicated for the treatment of small types of varicose veins, which occur in the legs and other parts of the body, to improve their appearance.

The drug acts by damaging the cell lining of blood vessels, leading to closure of the vessels and allowing the veins to eventually be replaced by other types of tissue.

Occurrence of the veins can be influenced by factors such as age, female gender, genetics, obesity, pregnancy and prolonged periods of standing.

The side effects are bruising, discolouration, irritation, pain at the injection site, leakage and collection of blood from damaged blood vessels at the injection site.