Tranexamic acid is a synthetic derivative of lysine, an amino acid. It is an antifibrinolytic agent. It blocks the breakdown of blood clots to prevent bleeding. So, it is widely used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding in females. The chemical formula of Tranexamic acid is C8H15NO2.
Mechanism of Action:
It inhibits the activation of plasminogen when it binds to various distinct sites including its binding to fibrin. When plasminogen binds to fibrin, it induces fibrinolysis. So, by binding to fibrin, Tranexamic acid prevents the dissolution of fibrin and thus stabilizes the clot and prevents hemorrhage.
The bioavailability of this acid is around 30 to 50 % of the dose ingested orally and it is not affected by the intake of food.
Side Effects of Tranexamic Acid:
The common side effects are listed below. Consult your doctor, if these symptoms are severe and stay for a longer duration.
How to handle side effects
Storage and Disposal of Tranexamic acid medicine
Keep it in the container in which it comes. It should be tightly closed and out of the reach of children. Further, it should be at room temperature and not exposed to heat or moisture. The unneeded medicine should be disposed of properly so that pets, children, etc., don't happen to find and consume it.
How should Tranexamic medicine be used?
It is available in the form of tablets, so taken by mouth. Women can take it thrice a day with or without food for up to 5 days during menstruation bleeding.
Medical uses of Tranexamic acid
Trauma: It is used to decrease bleeding due to trauma. It reduces the risk of death. For example, if it is used within the first three hours of head injury, it is found to prevent death due to excessive bleeding.
Bleeding: It effectively treats heavy menstrual bleeding. It is also given to reduce bleeding after childbirth. It is found effective in reducing the chances of death due to postpartum bleeding.
Surgery: It is used in orthopedic surgery to reduce bleeding. It reduces the need for blood transfusion in children during surgical treatment of craniosynostosis. It is also given in spinal surgery and cardiac surgery to reduce blood loss.
Dentistry: In countries like the United States, this acid is approved by FDA for short-term use in people suffering from bleeding disorders and are about to undergo dental surgery. It is given before and after the surgery to prevent blood loss and thus prevent the need for blood transfusion. In dentistry, it is given as a 5% mouth rinse after surgery or extraction.
Nosebleeds: It can be applied to the area that is bleeding. For example, it is more effective to treat nose bleeding using Tranexamic acid than using cotton pledgets to pack the nose. It also reduces the chance of rebleeding.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
It is not suggested for pregnant women as there is not enough data to prove that it is safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, a doctor may prescribe it to his patients if he thinks that its benefits outweigh the risks. It is considered safe for breastfeeding mothers, though, it may enter into breast milk in small amounts.