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Esophageal varices

In medicine (gastroenterology), esophageal varices (or oesophageal varices) are extremely dilated sub-mucosal veins in the lower third of the esophagus. They are most often a consequence of portal hypertension, commonly due to cirrhosis; patients with esophageal varices have a strong tendency to develop bleeding.

Source: Wikipedia

What are the symptoms?

Within all the people who go to their doctor with esophageal varices, 41% report having changes in stool appearance, 41% report having burning abdominal pain, and 41% report having nausea. The symptoms that are highly suggestive of esophageal varices are changes in stool appearance, melena, and pain of the anus, although you may still have esophageal varices without those symptoms.


What might my doctor prescribe?

Common Tests and Procedures

Patients with esophageal varices often receive hematologic tests, complete blood count, glucose measurement, electrolytes panel, lipid panel, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy; biopsy, ultrasonography and hemoglobin a1c measurement .

Common Medications

The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with esophageal varices include furosemide, spironolactone, midazolam (versed), lactulose, propranolol, esomeprazole (nexium), meperidine (demerol), fentanyl, pantoprazole, vitamin b 12, folic acid, entecavir (baraclude) and octreotide .

Furosemide
$4
(28 days)
Spironolactone
$11
(28 days)
Midazolam (Versed)

Lactulose
$24
(21 days)
Propranolol
$18
(28 days)
Esomeprazole (Nexium)
$168
(28 days)
Meperidine (Demerol)
$27
(14 days)
Fentanyl
$205
(28 days)
Pantoprazole
$110
(28 days)
Vitamin B 12
$6
(28 days)
Folic Acid
$3
(28 days)
Entecavir (Baraclude)
$690
(28 days)
Octreotide
$1745
(21 days)

Who is at risk?

Groups of people at highest risk for esophageal varices include race/ethnicity = other, age 60-74 years and age 45-59 years. On the other hand, age 1-4 years, age 15-29 years, and age < 1 years almost never get esophageal varices.

Age

< 1 years
0.0x
1-4 years
0.0x
5-14 years
0.4x
15-29 years
0.0x
30-44 years
1.1x
45-59 years
1.6x
60-74 years
2.9x
75+ years
0.4x

Sex

Male
1.3x
Female
0.8x

Race/Ethnicity

Black
0.5x
Hispanic
1.3x
White
1.0x
Other
2.5x
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