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Tranexamic Acid for period pain - really?

(14 Posts)
elementofsurprise Mon 07-Sep-15 12:42:35

I have endometriosis. I'm not looking for any info about that. My question is does tranexamic acid actually work on period pain? Everything I can find says it's for heavy bleeding, which I don't have.

I am pretty annoyed with my GP right now because I explained the pain had got worse and the codeine I normally take didn't seem to be working (I only use it on the first day of period so wouldn't have thought it was tolerance building up). So he prescibed me the tranexamic acid. I was a but dubious because I had heard of this, and was pretty sure it wasn't a painkiller. I have previously tried mefanemic acid, which didn't touch the pain, but I am aware it's other effects that are supposed to have a knock-on effect on pain and others swear by it. I assumed this was the same and asked GP - he kept insisting it was a painkiller. I was up for trying it, and asked if it was directly a painkiller or if it had other effects that had a knock-on effect on the pain - but blanket insistence from him that it's a painkiller.

So... does it work on pain? Is my GP being an idiot?
Is there anything else I could try? (I had to ask speifically for codeine, and only knew that worked because I took some a friend had leftover, which I know you shouldn't but I was in such agony.)

OneBreathAfterAnother Mon 07-Sep-15 12:44:25

It's not a painkiller, but I suppose if the pain is coming from the bleeding, that stopping the bleeding may reduce the pain?

You'd need a prescription for strong painkillers. What strength codeine are you taking?

poorbuthappy Mon 07-Sep-15 12:44:52

Or are they working on the basis that lighter periods = less pain?

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 07-Sep-15 13:22:07

Its not a painkiller; mefanemic acid is often given to such patients as well.

Codeine-based painkillers are effective painkillers but can cause constipation and gastro-intestinal upset, which may aggravate symptoms in women with endometriosis.

elementofsurprise Mon 07-Sep-15 14:03:31

I thought mefanemic acid relaxed the muscles or somthing, which is why it can help? But period pain isn't even a listed use for tranexamic acid. Only heavy menstrual bleeding is listed.

I take codeine 30mg, but I double up the first 2-3 doses. I have 180-240mg the first day and usually nothing on the second, maybe just paracetamol or ibuprofen.

The pain comes on very quickly, as soon as I know it's period pain I have to take 60mg codeine and it still reaches searing levels before the codeine kicks in. Take another 60mg around 3 hrs later, and then top up as needed with 30mg.

My last period it felt like I hadn't taken anything at all, and the sickness and shakiness was so bad I had to lie down with my eyes closed.

redannie118 Mon 07-Sep-15 15:28:16

I found a mixture of a strong anti inflammatory along with a codine based painkiller were the only thing to offer any relief. Hope that helps

ArendelleQueen Mon 07-Sep-15 16:37:45

Are you taking paracetamol? There is a lot of evidence that taking paracetamol regularly (daily max dose) can take the edge off pain. My pain (not period) would not respond to only paracetamol but when I take it regularly, I do notice a difference.

I do also get period pain and I've had less pain since taking tranexamic acid but this may be the pain relief I take for my other condition. It gives me terrible headaches though, so it's not perfect.

MountainDweller Tue 08-Sep-15 00:20:58

A bit OT but tramadol is a good alternative to codeine.

GinBunny Tue 08-Sep-15 00:30:19

I've been taking TA for a few months for heavy bleeds and can say no no no to help for pain. I bleed less, and that is heaven sent, but the pain persists - albeit a different type of pain. Can't explain it but painkillers are still much needed.

elementofsurprise Wed 09-Sep-15 11:53:45

ArendelleQueen I can't really do that, because I only have pain 1 - 2 days a month. Or do you mean regularly throughout the day?

This is weird, I barely ever take medication apart from this. I thought tea and sleep cured everything! But when period comes I want the strongest painkiller possible!

Thanks ppl.

PickAName456 Fri 11-Sep-15 17:52:30

I know that everyone is different, but I was put on TA for heavy periods, after I was found to be very anaemic.
I'm still on the iron tablets, and TA has been a revelation to me, my periods are lighter, I can cope with daily life now, no more flooding, I've missed no work, been able to go on a holiday and had days out without worry.
The pain I had was something else, really crampy, pain in legs, very painful bowels, huge clots, I'm sure you ladies know what I mean, (I once even bit through my lip, the pain would literally take my breath away very sharp and sudden)
For me I've found that the lighter periods on TA have more or less got rid of the pain too. Now a very mild cramp on the first day and that's been it.
Have to say the TA makes me feel a bit sick and diorreha on the first day I take it, but I can put up with that.
If my experience is anything to go by, it's got to worth a try.

CrossWhy Sun 13-Sep-15 22:23:32

Taken from the patient leaflet

Tranexamic acid which belongs to a group of medicines called anti-fibrinolytics. These are used to control bleeding. When you bleed your body forms clots to stop the bleeding. In some people these clots break down causing too much bleeding. This medicine stops these clots from dissolving and so reduces bleeding.

Also this:

Do not take this medicine if your periods are not heavy

PacificDogwod Sun 13-Sep-15 22:27:44

Tranexamic acid and Mefenamic acid can both help reduce bleeding AND pain. Yes, TA help with clots etc, but they both have an anti-prostaglanding action i.e. work as antiinflammatories.
They are most effective if taken before the period/pain starts, so work best for women who are either a. very regular or b. 'know' when their period is due due to symptoms.

It's worth a shot, OP, even if your pain is due to endo. You can still take Paracetamol/codeine on top of TA, but should avoid other antiinflammatories such as Ibuprofen etc.

imjustahead Sun 13-Sep-15 22:28:01

op try Buscopan cramps, helps sometimes xx

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