Tranexamic acid

Sounds like TRAN-ex-AM-ik AS-id

Easy-to-read medicine information about tranexamic acid – what it is, how to take tranexamic acid safely and possible side effects. The current brand in NZ is called Cyklokapron®.

Type of medicineAlso called
  • Prevents or treats unwanted or heavy bleeding 
  • Belongs to a group of medicines called antifibrinolytics or haemostatic agents
  • Cyklokapron®


What is tranexamic acid?

Tranexamic acid belongs to a group of medicines known as antifibrinolytics or haemostatic agents. It is used to reduce or stop heavy bleeding or unwanted bleeding such as:

How does tranexamic acid work?

Tranexamic acid works by slowing the breakdown of clots.

  • When you bleed your body forms blood clots to stop the bleeding.
  • In some people these clots break down (or dissolve) causing too much bleeding.
  • By slowing the breakdown of clots, tranexamic acid prevents further bleeding.

Dose

  • Tranexamic acid is available as tablets or an injection.
  • The usual dose of tranexamic acid is 2 or 3 tablets taken 2 or 3 times a day.
  • Some people may require higher doses.
  • The exact dose you take will depend on why you have been prescribed these tablets.
  • Always take your tranexamic acid exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much tranexamic acid to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

How to take tranexamic acid

  • Take your tranexamic acid tablets at the same times each day.
  • Swallow your tablets with a glass of water. 
  • You can take tranexamic acid with or without food.
  • If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day.
  • But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, tranexamic acid can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. 

Side effectsWhat should I do?
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea (loose stools) 
  • These are quite common when you first start taking tranexamic acid and usually go away with time
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • Feeling faint or dizzy
  • Stand up slowly. If you do feel dizzy sit down, or lie down for a few moments
  • Problems with your eyesight such as changes in your colour vision 
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116
 
  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as skin rash, itching, blisters, peeling skin, swelling of the face, lips, mouth or have problems breathing
 
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116
  • Signs of clots in the legs or the lung such as swelling, redness or cramping in the legs, or shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or chest pain  
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116

Learn more

The following links provide more information on tranexamic acid.

Medsafe consumer information sheets
Cyklokapron

 

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist.