Breast Feeding and Sclerotherapy

In Australia today the most common used solutions for the treatment of venous disease, including spider veins, are the detergent solutions – sodium tetradecyl sulphate (STS) and aethoxyskerol/polidocanol (POL) as well as hypertonic saline.

In the product information provided for both STS and POL it state: “it is not known whether (STS or POL) is excreted into human milk…. Use in lactations is not recommended (STS)… Caution should be exercised when used in nursing mothers (POL).” The half-life for POL is 4h and that of STS is unknown.

These drugs have been available for more than 50 years. There is no evidence that these drugs have any effect on a baby, however there is no conclusive evidence regarding their safety.

These drugs are quickly metabolized by the liver and excreted by the kidney, so it is safe to resume breast feeding very soon after treatment.  Weiss recommends waiting for a period of 4-6hrs after treatment before breast feeding (Weiss RA, Feied MA, Weiss MA. Vein Diagnosis and Treatment: a comprehensive approach, USA: McGraw-Hill, 2001; p165).

Hypertonic saline is a less commonly used sclerosing agent, but it is completely safe to use during breast feeding.

I usually tell my patients to express before treatment and have enough available for a couple of feeds.

It is also worth mentioning here the timing of therapy post partum. It is generally accepted to wait about three months post partum as there is often regression of venous disease during this period as well as the regression of risk of deep vein thrombosis towards baseline.

At Specialist Vein care we are experts in the management of venous disease.If you have any concern, then please let us help!

Please give us a call and make an appointment.We can discuss your particular venous issue, discuss options and create an individualised treatment plan if required. The venous disease that you have may well require reassurance only with no treatment required.

To make an appointment today to have your venous disease assessed by Dr Berman, please phone 9561 5155


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts


Specialist Vein Care in Melbourne
provides state of the art techniques in the diagnosis & treatment of varicose & spider vein diseases