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Tranexamic acid for heavy bleeding during periods

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Tranexamic acid for heavy bleeding during periods

This leaflet is about the use of tranexamic acid for the treatment of menorrhagia (heavy bleeding during periods).

Information Standard quality markThis leaflet has been written specifically for parents and carers about the use of this medicine in children. The information may differ from that provided by the manufacturer. Please read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again.

Name of drug

Tranexamic acid
Brand name:
Cyklokapron®

Why is it important for my child to take this medicine?

Tranexamic acid helps to stop blood clots from breaking down, so it reduces bleeding. It will help the lining of your daughter’s womb to clot when she is having a period and will reduce the heavy bleeding. It will not stop the period altogether.

What is tranexamic acid available as?

  • Tablets: 500mg
  • Liquid medicine can be ordered specially from your pharmacist

When should I give tranexamic acid?

Tranexamic acid is usually given three or four times each day. Your doctor will tell you how often to give it.

  • Three times each day: this should be once in the morning, once in the early afternoon and once in the evening. Ideally, these times are at least 6 hours apart, for example 8 am, 2 pm and 8 pm.
  • Four times each day: this is usually first thing in the morning, at about midday, late in the afternoon and at bedtime. Ideally these times should be at least 4 hours apart, for example 8 am, midday, 4 pm and 8 pm.

Your daughter should start taking the medicine when the period/bleeding starts and finish when the bleeding stops. This should be for a maximum of four days. There may be light bleeding for another day or two.

Give the medicine at about the same times each day so that this becomes part of your daughter’s daily routine, which will help you to remember.

If your daughter still has heavy bleeding after 4 days contact your doctor.

How much should I give?

Your doctor will work out the amount of tranexamic acid (the dose) that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to give.

How should I give it?

TabletsTablets should be swallowed with a glass of water, milk or juice. Your daughter should not chew the tablet.
You can crush the tablet and mix it with a small amount of soft food such as yogurt, honey or jam. Make sure your daughter swallows it straight away, without chewing.

Liquid medicine with oral syringeLiquid medicine: Measure out the right amount using an oral syringe or medicine spoon. You can get these from your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount. Make sure your daughter takes it all straight away.

When should the medicine start working?

The medicine should start working straight away and it should reduce your daughter’s bleeding on the first day.

What if my child is sick (vomits)?

  • If your daughter is sick less than 30 minutes after having a dose of tranexamic acid, give them the same dose again.
  • If your daughter is sick more than 30 minutes after having a dose of tranexamic acid, you do not need to give them another dose. Wait until the next normal dose.

What if I forget to give it?

Do not give the missed dose. Just give the next dose as usual.

Never give a double dose of tranexamic acid.

What if I give too much?

You are unlikely to do harm if you give an extra dose of tranexamic acid by mistake but your daughter is more likely to have side-effects. If you are concerned that you may have given too much, contact your doctor or NHS Direct (0845 4647 in England and Wales; 08454 24 24 24 in Scotland). Have the medicine or packaging with you if you telephone for advice.

Are there any possible side-effects?

We use medicines to make our children better, but sometimes they have other effects that we don’t want (side-effects).

Side-effects you must do something about

Tranexamic acid sometimes causes serious side-effects. These are not likely to happen and the benefit of taking the medicine is greater than the risk of these effects. 

There is a small risk that tranexamic acid may cause a clot in another part of the body. If any of the following happen, take your daughter to hospital or call an ambulance straight away:
-your daughter suddenly becomes short of breath or has severe pain in her chest; she may have a small blood clot in her lung.
-your daughter suddenly becomes confused, has slurred speech, becomes clumsy, has a severe headache or becomes weak with numbness on one side of her body; she may have a small blood clot in her brain.
-your daughter suddenly loses their ability to see with one or both eyes; she may have a small blood clot in her eye.
-your daughter gets swelling, redness and pain in her foot or leg; she may have a blood clot in her leg.

If your daughter has problems with seeing colours, contact your doctor straight away. The medicine may need to be stopped.

Other side-effects you need to know about
  • Your daughter may feel sick (nausea) or be sick (vomit). Giving the medicine with some food may help. She may also get diarrhoea. If you are worried talk to your doctor as they may want to reduce the dose.
  • Your daughter may develop itchiness or a rash. Try applying a moisturising cream or an anti-itch cream. If this does not help, contact your doctor, in case your daughter is allergic to tranexamic acid.

There may, sometimes, be other side-effects that are not listed above. If you notice anything unusual and are concerned, contact your doctor.

Can other medicines be given at the same time as tranexamic acid?

  • You can give your daughter medicines that contain paracetamol or ibuprofen, unless your doctor has told you not to.
  • Tranexamic acid should not be taken with some medicines that you get on prescription. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about any other medicines your daughter is taking before giving tranexamic acid. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving any other medicines to your daughter. This includes herbal or complementary medicines.
  • Tell your doctor if your daughter is using the oral contraceptive pill as this may increase the risk of blood clots if they take tranexamic acid as well. They can then discuss other risks for blood clots with you.

Is there anything else I need to know about this medicine?

If your daughter still has heavy bleeding after 4 days contact your doctor. Do not change the dose of tranexamic acid without talking to your doctor first.

General advice about medicines

  • Try to give medicines at about the same times each day, to help you remember.
  • If you are not sure a medicine is working, contact your doctor but continue to give the medicine as usual in the meantime. Do not give extra doses, as you may do harm.
  • Only give this medicine to your child. Never give it to anyone else, even if their condition appears to be the same, as this could do harm.

If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor straight away.

  • Make sure that you always have enough medicine. Order a new prescription at least 2 weeks before you will run out.
  • Make sure that the medicine you have at home has not reached the ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date on the packaging. Give old medicines to your pharmacist to dispose of.

Where I should keep this medicine?

  • Keep the medicines in a cupboard, away from heat and direct sunlight. It does not need to be kept in the fridge.
  • Make sure that children cannot see or reach the medicine.
  • Keep the medicine in the container it came in.

Who to contact for more information

Your doctor, pharmacist or nurse will be able to give you more information about tranexamic acid and about other medicines used to treat menorrhagia.

You can also get useful information from: 
Publication date: 
21/12/2012