The FDA announced yesterday that they have approved tranexamic acid tablets for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding, under the brand name Lysteda. According to the press release, approximately 3 million US women experience heavy bleeding, usually with no underlying health condition. The report states that there was a statistically significant reduction in menstrual blood loss in women who received Lysteda, compared with those taking placebo.
As is the case with many newly approved drugs, tranexamic acid is not a new drug but an approval for a new usage: tranexamic acid has been used in injection form more than 20 years to reduce bleeding during tooth extraction in people with hemophilia (a blood disorder in which blood lacks a clotting factor).
Although it’s unlikely that anyone using hormonal contraceptives would also have heavy menstrual bleeding (remember, hormonal contraceptives suppress menstruation), the new drug comes with a big warning: taking Lysteda along with hormonal contraceptives increases one’s risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack.
I’m not a biochemist or a physician, but it sounds like Lysteda is a viable alternative for women who are currently taking (or recommended to take) hormonal contraceptives for the management of menstrual bleeding.