For several decades, hormonal treatments (such as birth control pills) have been the standard way to treat heavy menstrual bleeding. However, a nonhormonal treatment option -- Lysteda -- can be used instead for women who cannot use or do not wish to use hormonal therapy. The medication works by preventing blood clots from breaking down.
Lysteda™ (oral tranexamic acid) is a prescription medication approved to treat heavy menstrual bleeding. Unlike other medications approved for this use, Lysteda is not a hormonal medication.
Heavy menstrual bleeding is known medically as menorrhagia. It is usually defined as menstrual blood loss exceeding 80 mL over the course of one menstrual period. However, most women will never have the opportunity to actually measure menstrual blood loss. Your healthcare provider can help you determine if you really have heavy menstrual bleeding (as calculated by the number of pads or tampons you use daily).
By definition, menorrhagia occurs at regular intervals; that is, women with irregular menstrual cycles are not usually included in this diagnosis.
Heavy menstrual bleeding can lead to anemia, in addition to causing great disruption to a woman's life.
Hormonal treatments (such as birth control pills) have been the mainstay of menorrhagia treatment for decades. However, many women cannot take or do not wish to take hormonal medications, for various reasons. Lysteda is the only nonhormonal medication approved for the treatment of menorrhagia.
Lysteda is an antifibrinolytic medication, which means that it inhibits the process of fibrinolysis (the breakdown of blood clots). Blood clots are largely made of a protein called fibrin. An enzyme known as plasmin is responsible for breaking down the clots. Lysteda works by preventing the enzyme plasmin from being formed and by preventing plasmin from binding to the fibrin in the clots, which prevents the clots from breaking down.
Since heavy menstrual bleeding has been associated with an abnormally high rate of clot breakdown, Lysteda can help decrease excess menstrual bleeding.