Blood clotting drug could save thousands

21 June, 2010, Danstan Kaunda

Tranexamic to be launched in drug form

A team of medical research has revealed that a blood clotting drug, tranexamic acid (TXA) is soon to be launch on the market in developing countries.

Tranexamic acid has long been used in treating heavy menstrual bleeding in women in developed countries. But now, it will be available in drug form in poor regions of the world to save thousands of injured people.

In teenage female, tranexamic acid has been used before, but only recommended before the start of menstruation in the USA and other European countries.[frax09alpha]

The University of Zambia (UNZA) School of Medicine dean Prof Yakub Mulla and UTH’s Dr Dennis Sakala who were involved in the research estimates that administering TXA could prevent up to 100, 000 deaths per year worldwide.

According to a recent released statement after the research, the results of the international CRASH-2 trial showed that early administration of TXA to patients with recent, severe bleeding injuries saved lives with no evidence of adverse effects from unwanted clotting.

The report stated that TXA was cheap, widely available and easily administered to clot blood.

“In Zambia, this treatment could prevent 151 deaths each year,” Prof Mulla said. “Zambia should take the lead by introducing the use of tranexamic acid at all health centres that have to deal with trauma victims.”

About 20,000 patients at 274 hospitals in 40 countries were involved in the research during the four-year trial recruitment. TXA is often prescribed for excessive bleeding and it is an antifibrinolytic agent that competitively inhibits the activation of plasminogen to plasmin, a molecule responsible for the degradation of fibrin.

It works by blocking the breakdown of blood clots, which prevents bleeding. Fibrin is the basic framework for the formation of a blood clot in hemostasis. Medical experts said tranexamic acid will only available on doctor’s prescription.

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