Aortic GAGs, Aortic Glycosaminoglycans, Glycosaminoglycans, Glycosaminoglycanes, Glycosaminoglycannes, Heparinoid Fraction, Heparinoids, Héparinoïdes, Mesoglicano, Mésoglycane, Mucopolysaccharide, Sulfomucopolysaccharide.
Overview InformationMesoglycan is a substance obtained from cow lungs, cow blood vessels (aorta), or pig intestines. It is sometimes extracted and used as medicine for various blood vessel disorders.
Mesoglycan is used for long-term blood flow problems in the brain (cerebrovascular diseases), narrowing of blood vessels that causes poor blood flow to the limbs (peripheral arterial disease), poor circulation that can lead to varicose veins and other conditions (venous insufficiency), and leg sores caused by weak blood circulation (venous leg ulcer). It is also used for vision problems in people with diabetes (diabetic retinopathy), high blood pressure, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these other uses.
How does it work?Mesoglycan appears to have effects that improve blood flow and reduce the risk of clotting.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Long-term blood flow problems in the brain (cerebrovascular diseases). Some research shows that taking mesoglycan by mouth for 6 months seems to improve quality of life in people with cerebrovascular disease.
- Narrowing of blood vessels that causes poor blood flow to the limbs (peripheral arterial disease). Some research shows that taking mesoglycan by mouth alone or in combination with mesoglycan given as a shot seems to improve walking distance in patients with leg pain due to peripheral arterial disease. However, taking mesoglycan by mouth seems to be less effective for improving walking distance than taking the drug defibrotide.
- Poor circulation that can lead to varicose veins and other conditions (venous insufficiency). There is some evidence that giving mesoglycan by mouth or as an injection for 1-3 months may improve the symptoms associated with various vein conditions, including varicose veins and swollen veins. Applying mesoglycan directly to the skin might also be helpful for treating leg ulcers in people with poor circulation.
- Leg sores caused by weak blood circulation (venous leg ulcer). Administering a combination of mesoglycan, given by mouth and as a shot, seems to boost the effectiveness of standard treatment for leg ulcers.
Possibly Ineffective for
- Blood clots that form in the veins (venous thromboembolism or VTE). Taking mesoglycan by mouth along with using compression stockings after standard therapy does not seem to help prevent VTEs from recurring.
- Stroke. Taking mesoglycan in addition to injecting dexamethasone in the vein for 5 days after a stroke does not seem to improve outcomes any more than dexamethasone alone.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). There is some early evidence that mesoglycan might slow the progression of atherosclerosis by keeping blood vessel walls from thickening.
- Poor circulation that can cause the legs to swell (chronic venous insufficiency or CVI). Early research shows that taking mesoglycan by mouth helps to reduce pain and swelling in people with swollen legs.
- Swelling (inflammation) of blood vessels in the skin (cutaneous necrotizing venulitis). Early research shows that mesoglycan given as a shot might be useful for treating some people with this condition.
- Vision problems in people with diabetes (diabetic retinopathy). Early research shows that taking mesoglycan by mouth helps to reduce damage to the eyes in people with diabetes.
- High blood pressure. Early research shows that taking mesoglycan by mouth might help to reduce blood pressure by a small amount in people with high blood pressure.
- High levels of fats called triglycerides in the blood (hypertriglyceridemia). Early research shows that taking mesoglycan by mouth might help to reduce levels of blood fats called triglycerides.
- A grouping of symptoms that increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke (metabolic syndrome). Early research shows that taking mesoglycan by mouth might improve the health of blood vessels in people with this condition.
- Pain after surgery. Early research shows that taking mesoglycan for 35 days after hemorrhoid surgery might reduce pain and allow people to return to work sooner.
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus). Some population research has found that taking mesoglycan by mouth might reduce ringing in the ears in people with tinnitus.
- Dizziness (vertigo). Some population research has found that taking mesoglycan by mouth might reduce dizziness in people with vertigo.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyWhen taken by mouth: Mesoglycan is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults. It can cause nausea, vomiting, heartburn, indigestion, headache, diarrhea, and skin reactions.
When given as a shot: Mesoglycan is POSSIBLY SAFE when given as a shot by a healthcare provider. When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if mesoglycan is safe or what the side effects might be.
When given by IV: There isn't enough reliable information to know if mesoglycan is safe or what the side effects might be.
Because mesoglycan comes from animal products, there is a risk that diseases could be accidentally transmitted from sick animals. However, so far, there are no reports of diseases in humans due to use of contaminated mesoglycan. There is also some concern about the possibility of catching "mad cow disease" (bovine spongiform encephalitis, BSE) from products that come from animals. There are no reports of getting "mad cow disease" from mesoglycan, but it is probably wise to avoid animal products from countries where "mad cow disease" has been found.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if mesoglycan is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Bleeding disorders: Mesoglycan might cause bleeding in people with clotting problems. Use with caution.
An allergy to the blood thinner heparin: Mesoglycan might cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to heparin or related drugs.
Surgery: Mesoglycan might slow blood clotting. There is some concern that it might cause extra bleeding if used near the time of surgery. Stop using mesoglycan at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Be cautious with this combination
Medications for dissolving blood clots (Thrombolytic drugs) interacts with MESOGLYCAN
Mesoglycan decreases blood clotting. Taking mesoglycan with medications used for dissolving blood clots might increase the chance of bleeding and bruising.
Some medications used for dissolving blood clots include alteplase (Activase), anistreplase (Eminase), reteplase (Retevase), streptokinase (Streptase), and urokinase (Abbokinase).
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with MESOGLYCAN
Mesoglycan might slow blood clotting. Taking mesoglycan along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For long-term blood flow problems in the brain (cerebrovascular diseases): Mesoglycan 96-100 mg per day for up to 6 months.
- For narrowing of blood vessels that causes poor blood flow to the limbs (peripheral arterial disease): Mesoglycan 100 mg daily, sometimes along with mesoglycan given as a shot.
- For poor circulation that can lead to varicose veins and other conditions (venous insufficiency): Mesoglycan up to 50 mg three times daily for 30 days.
- For leg sores caused by weak blood circulation (venous leg ulcer): Mesoglycan 100 mg daily for 3 weeks.
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- Giorgetti, P. L., Marenghi, M. C., and Bianciardi, P. [Heparan sulfate in the therapy of postphlebitic syndrome. Evaluation of the efficacy and tolerability as compared to mesoglycan]. Minerva Cardioangiol. 1997;45(6):279-284. View abstract.
- Laurora, G., Ambrosoli, L., Cesarone, M. R., De Sanctis, M. T., Incandela, L., Marelli, C., and Belcaro, G. Treatment of intermittent claudication with defibrotide or mesoglycan. A double blind study. Panminerva Med. 1994;36(2):83-86. View abstract.
- Laurora, G., Cesarone, M. R., De Sanctis, M. T., Incandela, L., and Belcaro, G. Delayed arteriosclerosis progression in high risk subjects treated with mesoglycan. Evaluation of intima-media thickness. J.Cardiovasc.Surg.(Torino) 1993;34(4):313-318. View abstract.
- Mansi, D., Sinisi, L., De Michele, G., Di Geronimo, G., Palma, V., Brescia, Morra, V, Coppola, N., and Buscaino, G. A. Open trial of mesoglycan in the treatment of cerebrovascular ischemic disease. Acta Neurol.(Napoli) 1988;10(2):108-112. View abstract.
- Messa, G., Blardi, P., La Placa, G., Puccetti, L., and Ghezzi, A. [Effects of 2 single oral doses of mesoglycan on the coagulation-fibrinolysis system in man. A pharmacodynamic study]. Recenti Prog.Med. 1995;86(7-8):272-281. View abstract.
- Nenci, G. G., Gresele, P., Ferrari, G., Santoro, L., and Gianese, F. Treatment of intermittent claudication with mesoglycan--a placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Thromb.Haemost. 2001;86(5):1181-1187. View abstract.
- Tardieu, M., Bourin, M. C., Desgranges, P., Barbier, P., Barritault, D., and Caruelle, J. P. Mesoglycan and sulodexide act as stabilizers and protectors of fibroblast growth factors (FGFs). Growth Factors 1994;11(4):291-300. View abstract.
- Abate G, Berenga A, Caione F, et al. [Controlled multicenter study on the therapeutic effectiveness of mesoglycan in patients with cerebrovascular disease]. Minerva Med 1991;82:101-5. View abstract.
- Agrati AM, De Bartolo G, Palmieri G. [Heparan sulfate: efficacy and safety in patients with chronic venous insufficiency]. Minerva Cardioangiol 1991;39:395-400. View abstract.
- Ambrosio LA, Marchese G, Filippo A, et al. The effect of mesoglycan in patients with cerebrovascular disease: a psychometric evaluation. J Int Med Res 1993;21:138-46. View abstract.
- Andreozzi GM, Signorelli S, Lo Duca S, et al. Effects of mesoglycan sulfate on the arterial elastic module. Angiology 1987;38:593-600. View abstract.
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- Blardi P, Messa G, Puccetti L, et al. [Effects on the coagulation-fibrinolysis system of a single oral dose of mesoglycan at the beginning and at the end of a prolonged treatment in man]. Recenti Prog Med 1995;86:282-9. View abstract.
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- La Marca G, Pumilia G, Martino A. [Effectiveness of mesoglycan topical treatment of leg ulcers in subjects with chronic venous insufficiency]. Minerva Cardioangiol 1999;47:315-9. View abstract.
- Laurora G, Cesarone MR, Belcaro G, et al. [Control of the progress of arteriosclerosis in high risk subjects treated with mesoglycan. Measuring the intima media]. Minerva Cardioangiol 1998;46:41-7. View abstract.
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- Orlandi G, Viapiano F, Massetani R, et al. Clinical-instrumental evaluation of the effects of mesoglycan sulphate in chronic vascular encephalopathy. Acta Neurol (Napoli) 1991;13:255-60. View abstract.
- Pacella E, Pacella F, Turchetti P, et al. A pilot clinical study on the effectiveness of mesoglycan against diabetic retinopathy. Clin Ter. 2012;163(1):19-22. View abstract.
- Petruzzellis V, Velon A. [Therapeutic action of oral mesoglycan in the pharmacologic treatment of the varicose syndrome and its complications]. Minerva Med 1985;76:543-8. View abstract.
- Postiglione A, De Simone B, Rubba P, et al. Effect of oral mesoglycan on plasma lipoprotein concentration and on lipoprotein lipase activity in primary hyperlipoproteinemia. Pharmacol Res Commun 1984;16:1-8. View abstract.
- Prandoni P, Cattelan AM, Carta M. [Long-term sequelae of deep venous thrombosis of the legs. Experience with mesoglycan]. Ann Ital Med Int 1989;4:378-85. View abstract.
- Raso AM, Maggio D, Trogolo M, et al. [Effectiveness of mesoglycan therapy in patients with ischemia of the lower limbs. Preliminary results of a new therapeutic protocol]. Minerva Cardioangiol 1997;45:383-92. View abstract.
- Scondotto G, Catena G, Aloisi D. [Use of mesoglycan in venous pathology]. Minerva Med 1997;88:537-41. View abstract.
- Scondotto G, De Fabritiis A, Guastarobba A, et al. [Use of a minor fibrinolytic drug (mesoglycan) in phlebitis]. Minerva Med 1984;75:1733-8. View abstract.
- Valvano A, Bosso G, Apuzzi V, Riccone F, Saccá L, Oliviero U. Mesoglycan improves vascular reactivity and insulin sensitivity in patients with metabolic syndrome. Atherosclerosis. 2015;243(2):407-13. View abstract.
- Vecchio F, Zanchin G, Maggioni F, et al. Mesoglycan in treatment of patients with cerebral ischemia: effects on hemorheologic and hematochemical parameters. Acta Neurol (Napoli) 1993;15:449-56.
- Viliani T, Scarselli M, Pieri A, Gatti M, Santini M, Pasquetti P. Pharmacological treatment of mechanical edema: a randomized controlled trial about the effects of mesoglycan. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2009;45(1):21-9. View abstract.
- Vittoria A, Messa GL, Frigerio C, et al. Effect of a single dose of mesoglycan on the human fibrinolytic system, and the profibrinolytic action of nine daily doses. Int J Tissue React 1988;10:261-6. View abstract.
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