Cirrhosis and Variceal Bleeding – Part 2
Various treatments have been used over the years for treating varices (enlarged veins). Previously, vasopression and terlipressin, which directly constrict the mesenteric arterioles and reduce the portal venous flow, were used in medical management of bleeding varices. However, these drugs are falling out of favor somewhat due to their ischemic effects on the heart, brain, bowel, and limbs.
Currently, more commonly used drugs in the medical management of variceal bleeds include somatostatin and octreotide. These drugs inhibit the release of vasodilator hormones such as glucagon and indirectly cause splanchnic vasocontriction (contriction of the blood vessels in the bowel).
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