Pharmacological profile of sulodexide

Int Angiol. 2014 Jun;33(3):229-35.


Since its introduction, sulodexide has been used on and off for several indications. More recently this agent has become revitalized and tested in newer indications. Sulodexide is composed of glycosaminoglycan that includes a mixture of fast-moving heparin and dermatan sulfate. It exerts its anticoagulant and antithrombotic action through interactions with both AT and HCII. Sulodexide has been proven to have effects on the fibrinolytic system, platelets, endothelial cells, inflammation and more recently metalloproteases. The administration of sulodexide results in the release of lipoprotein lipase and has been shown to reduce the circulating level of lipids. It has also shown to decrease the viscosity of both whole blood and plasma. Sulodexide differs from heparin in its oral bioavailability and longer half-life. There is also less bleeding associated with sulodexide. In addition, oral administration of sulodexide does not interfere with the pharmacologic actions of commonly used agents. Similar to heparin, sulodexide releases TFPI which contributes to its antithrombotic effect and anti-inflammatory properties. Sulodexide has been proven to be effective in peripheral arterial thrombosis and venous thrombosis. It is also clinically active in the treatment of venous leg ulcers and intermittent claudication. More recent data suggest that sulodexide can be used in tinnitus and in vascular vertigo. Additional studies in these indications are required. Sulodexide was generally safe and well tolerated in the clinical trials, without any severe bleeding complications. Therefore sulodexide appears to be a good treatment for all arterial and venous diseases and for the prevention of progression of disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Coagulation / drug effects
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / adverse effects
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / chemistry
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Glycosaminoglycans / adverse effects
  • Glycosaminoglycans / chemistry
  • Glycosaminoglycans / pharmacokinetics
  • Glycosaminoglycans / therapeutic use*
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • glucuronyl glucosamine glycan sulfate