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What Is Tranexamic Acid?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 18 March 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Tranexamic acid is a medication useful for the treatment or prevention of excessive bleeding. It is available by prescription only for safety reasons, and patients should make sure their doctors are familiar with their complete medical histories before accepting a prescription for tranexamic acid. This drug can be dangerous for patients with clotting disorders or a history of kidney disease, and it may be necessary to use a different medication in such cases.

This compound is an anti-fibrinolytic. It works by preventing the process the body uses to break down blood clots. The maintenance of blood clots limits bleeding and will prevent excessive blood loss. Tablet and injectable forms are available for various uses. Patients taking the drug at home typically receive tablets, while injections are used in a hospital setting.

One reason to use tranexamic acid is surgery. For certain kinds of surgical procedures, there can be a high risk of blood loss, and this medication will help manage blood loss to make the procedure safer. Orthopedic and some forms of heart surgery are common reasons to prescribe this drug. Oral surgery can also be risky if it is major or the patient has a bleeding disorder. The dentist may prescribe a tranexamic acid mouthwash to limit bleeding in surgical recovery.

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Strong menstrual bleeding is another reason to use this medication, as is significant bleeding from uterine fibroids and other growths in the uterus. Patients with blood disorders like hemophilia may also benefit from tranexamic acid. While the medication doesn't stop blood loss altogether and patients may still bleed, the bleeding can be less excessive, and the patient may be less prone to complications caused by blood loss and internal bleeding. A doctor can evaluate the patient to determine the cause of excessive bleeding and may prescribe other medications to manage the condition as well as tranexamic acid to control the bleeding.

For patients with a history of clotting problems like deep venous thrombosis or embolic strokes, this drug is not advisable. In these patients, the inhibition of clot breakdown could be dangerous and might make them prone to a repeat episode of clotting problems. Patients with kidney disease may also be poor candidates for treatment with tranexamic acid, and it can also be dangerous for patients with seizure disorders. These patients should discuss the risks and benefits of the medication carefully with their doctors and may want to consider exploring alternatives that could be safer.

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