Last Editorial Review: 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Aortic GAGs, Aortic Glycosaminoglycans, Glycosaminoglycans, Glycosaminoglycanes, Glycosaminoglycannes, Heparinoid Fraction, Heparinoids, Héparinoïdes, Mesoglicano, Mésoglycane, Mucopolysaccharide, Sulfomucopolysaccharide.


Mesoglycan is a substance obtained from cow lung or cow blood vessel (aorta) or pig intestine. It is used as medicine for various blood vessel disorders. Depending on the use, mesoglycan is taken by mouth, or applied to the skin, or given by injection into the muscle (intramuscularly) or the bloodstream (intravenously, by IV).

Mesoglycan is used for treating “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis); hemorrhoids; swelling (inflammation) of the blood vessels (vasculitis); poor blood circulation that can lead to varicose veins and other blood vessel problems; leg ulcers; high blood fat levels, especially high triglycerides; and stroke.

It is also used for reducing leg pain during walking that is often experienced by people with peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Mesoglycan is sometimes used to improve thinking skills in people with poor blood circulation in the brain.

Another use is prevention of blood clots in the legs (deep venous thrombosis, DVT).

Mesoglycan is sometimes applied directly to the skin for treating leg ulcers.

Healthcare providers give mesoglycan as a shot to treat poor blood circulation, leg ulcers, heart disease, and stroke. They give it intravenously to treat lower limb ischemia, a condition in which enough oxygen doesn't get to the tissues in the legs because of blood vessel problems.

How does it work?

Mesoglycan appears to have effects that improve blood flow and reduce the risk of clotting.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Possibly Effective for...

  • Improving thinking and quality of life in people with limited blood flow to the brain. Taking mesoglycan by mouth seems to improve oxygenation of the brain and quality of life when used over a 6-month period. There is some evidence that mesoglycan might work about as well as standard treatment with medications that thin the blood.
  • High levels of blood fats called triglycerides. Taking mesoglycan by mouth seems to reduce total and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) triglycerides in people with high blood levels of triglycerides.
  • Reducing pain when walking in people with a disease called peripheral arterial disease. Alternating intravenous and oral mesoglycan seems to improve walking distance in patients with leg pain due to peripheral arterial disease. Also, giving mesoglycan as a shot for 3 weeks then taking mesoglycan by mouth for 20 weeks seems to improve walking distance in these patients. However, taking mesoglycan by mouth seems to be less effective for improving walking distance than taking the drug defibrotide.
  • Treating poor circulation that can lead to varicose veins and other conditions. There is some evidence giving mesoglycan by mouth or as an injection may improve the symptoms associated with various vein conditions, including varicose veins and swollen veins (phlebitis), when used over a 1-3 month period. Applying mesoglycan directly to the skin also seems to be helpful for treating leg ulcers in people with poor circulation.
  • Treating leg ulcers. Administering a combination of mesoglycan, given by mouth and as a shot, seems to boost the effectiveness of usual treatment for leg ulcers.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Blood clots that form in veins deep in the body (deep vein thrombosis, DVT). Taking mesoglycan by mouth along with using compression stockings after standard DVT therapy does not seem to help prevent DVT from recurring.
  • Stroke. Giving mesoglycan as a shot and injecting dexamethasone intravenously (by IV) for 5 days after a stroke, then taking mesoglycan by mouth for another 25 days, does not seem to improve outcomes for people who have had a stroke.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness 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.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of blood vessels (vasculitis). There is some developing evidence that mesoglycan given as a shot might be useful for treating some people with this condition.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of mesoglycan for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Mesoglycan is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth. It can cause nausea, vomiting, heartburn, headache, diarrhea, and skin reactions.

Because mesoglycan comes from animal products, there is a risk that diseases could be accidentally transmitted from sick animals.

There isn't enough information to know whether mesoglycan is safe when used applied to the skin or given intravenously (by IV).


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking mesoglycan if you are 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.


Medications for dissolving blood clots (Thrombolytic drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

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)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

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 preventing disorders of blood flow to the brain: mesoglycan 100-144 mg per day.
  • For high triglycerides: mesoglycan 96 mg per day.
  • For poor blood circulation: 50 mg three times daily.
  • Healthcare providers give mesoglycan shots to treat cerebrovascular disease, poor blood circulation, and ulcers caused by poor circulation.

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