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 North America 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
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.