What is the best therapy for superficial thrombophlebitis?
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For proximal saphenous vein thrombosis, anticoagulation is more effective than venous ligation (with or without stripping) in preventing deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolus (PE) (strength of recommendation [SOR]: C, qualitative systematic review of primarily case series). For patients with superficial venous thrombophlebitis (SVTP) distal to the saphenous vein of the thigh, tenoxicam (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent [NSAID]) and low-molecular-weight heparin are similarly effective for reducing extension and subsequent DVT when administered along with compression therapy (SOR: B, 1 randomized controlled trial). Oral or topical NSAIDs, topical heparin, and topical nitroglycerin all alleviate symptoms and speed resolution of SVTP caused by infusion catheters (SOR: B, smaller, occasionally conflicting randomized trials).
Journal of Family Practice, 53(7) 2004: 583-585.