Heavy-period drug can treat brain haemorrhage

16 May 2018

A drug used for heavy periods could benefit patients with strokes cause by dangerous brain bleeds, experts say.

Currently, there is no effective drug treatment.

A trial in the Lancet found tranexamic acid stemmed bleeding and reduced the risk of death in the early days following a haemorrhagic stroke.

Although it didn’t equate to less disability at three months, researchers are still hopeful about its use as a stroke therapy.

Up to a fifth of strokes are bleeds. They account for nearly half of all stroke deaths worldwide. Those who do survive may be left with debilitating disabilities, including paralysis and difficulty with their speech.

Carolyn Danbury,32, was offered the option to take part in the tranexamic acid trial and accepted. She still doesn’t know if she received the drug itself or a dummy injection, but she has made a good recovery.

Half of the 2,325 people who took part in the trial were given tranexamic acid and the other half were given a placebo so that the researchers could reliably measure what effect the treatment had.

Researcher Dr Nikola Sprigg, from the University of Nottingham, said: “Tranexamic acid is a drug that has been around for a long time. It’s effective in other bleeding conditions.”

 

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