Nearly half of patients that die in hospital environments pass away due to excessive blood loss. However, it has been discovered that TXA (tranexamic acid), widely used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding cycles, could save the lives of bleeding accident victims, those injured in warfare and even cases of hemophilia.

According to the study, TXA reduces the risk of death in injured patients with severe bleeding by about 10% compared to giving no treatment. If TXA was implemented worldwide, over 70,000 lives could be saved. The study recently involved over 20,000 patients and one small trial in 240 patients, both carried out since an earlier inconclusive review in 2004.

Ian Roberts of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in London, UK, says:

“TXA reduces the risk of a patient bleeding to death following an injury and appears to have few side effects. It could save lives in both civilian and military settings. These results are based on a large number of patients (men and women) who came from many different countries. Given the high quality of the evidence for the benefits of this drug, we recommend it be used more widely in injury victims with bleeding.”

This medication is commonly used short-term in people with a certain type of bleeding disorder (hemophilia) to prevent and reduce bleeding from having a tooth pulled or similar procedures in the form of a 5% mouth rinse after extractions or surgery. However, THX has not been used on a wide scale basis.

Tranexamic acid works by helping the blood clot normally to prevent and stop prolonged bleeding. It belongs to a class of drugs known as anti-fibrinolytics.

Tranexamic acid was first approved by the FDA in 1986 as an injection under the brand name Cyklokapron. Lysteda is a new oral formulation of tranexamic acid. Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the drug in late November 2009. Ferring Pharmaceuticals acquired Lysteda from Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals on May 10, 2010.

Aside, a separate Cochrane Systematic Review focused on trials of TXA and other similar drugs in people scheduled for non-urgent surgery showed that TXA was highly effective at reducing blood loss and the need for red blood cell transfusion.

Source: Cochrane

Written by Sy Kraft, B.A.