Period Problems

I’ve been prescribed tranexamic acid to help my periods – what is this treatment and how is it used?

Tranexamic acid is an antifibrinolytic drug – essentially this means it stops the breakdown of blood clots.

The drug can be used in various situations where there is excessive bleeding and is commonly used in the treatment of heavy periods (also known as menorrhagia). It is particularly useful for women who can’t or don’t wish to take hormonal treatments.

It is usually taken at the start of your period and can be used for up to 4 days. The usual dose taken is 1g three times daily. I would usually recommend trying it for 3 months, but stopping after this time if it hasn’t helped. If it has helped it can be taken with each period.

The main serious risk associated with this drug is thrombosis (blood clot formation). This is actually very rare! However care needs to be taken in people who have other risk factors for developing blood clots (eg. genetic conditions, smoking, taking other medications that also increase the risk).

Other side effects include diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. Sometimes reducing the dose can help improve these side effects.

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