Cyklo-f (Tranexamic acid)
How does it work?
Cyklo-f tablets contain the active ingredient tranexamic acid, which is a type of medicine called an antifibrinolytic. It can be used to help reduce heavy bleeding during periods.
During your period you shed the lining of blood and tissue that has built up in your womb in preparation for implantation of a fertilised egg. When you bleed your body forms blood clots to stop the bleeding.
Blood clots are made of red blood cells and platelets bound together with a substance called fibrin. Once they have fulfilled their normal purpose of stopping bleeding, the body dissolves clots by producing another substance called plasmin. Plasmin breaks down the fibrin and allows the clots to break up.
In women who have heavy menstrual bleeding there are higher than normal levels of the enzymes that produce plasmin in the lining of the womb. This causes blood clots in the womb lining to dissolve and increases the volume of blood that is shed with each period.
Tranexamic acid stops the production of plasmin by blocking the action of the enzymes that produce it. This reduces the breakdown of fibrin and stops clots dissolving, which in turn helps to reduce bleeding.
Tranexamic acid can reduce menstrual blood loss by up to 58 per cent.
What is it used for?
- To reduce heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) seen over several cycles in women with regular menstrual cycles.
Your periods are considered to be regular if your menstrual cycle is between 21-35 days long and the cycle is the same number of days long each month, ie does not change by more than three days each month.
Your periods are considered to be heavy if you experience the following:
- passing large clots of blood
- have to change sanitary protection every two hours or more often
- have to use double sanitary protection, eg tampons and towels
- can't carry out your normal activities, such as working, doing sport or going out
- bleeding through to clothes and bedding, this is referred to as flooding
- fatigue, dizziness and paleness which are symptoms of anaemia.
How do I take it?
- You start taking this medicine on the first day of a heavy period. (Taking it before or after a heavy period will not have any benefit, as it only works once the womb lining has started to shed.)
- The recommended dose is two tablets three times a day (eg morning, afternoon, evening) for a maximum of four days during each heavy period. If the period is particularly heavy, then you can take an extra two tablets at night.
- Do not take more than eight tablets in a day and do not take the medicine for more than four days in each period.
- This medicine can be used to reduce menstrual bleeding for as long as your periods remain regular and heavy. However, if there is no improvement in your bleeding after using this medicine for three consecutive periods it is important to see your doctor.
- You should stop taking this medicine and consult a doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms while you are taking this medicine: stabbing pains and/or unusual swelling in your arms or one leg, sudden breathlessness, sudden severe chest pain or a feeling of heaviness in the chest, coughing up blood or fainting. These are potential symptoms of a blood clot, which is a rare side effect of this medicine.
- If you experience any disturbances in your vision while taking this medicine you should stop taking it and consult your doctor.
Use with caution in
You should consult your doctor before taking this medicine if any of the following apply to you:
- Women over 45 years old.
- Women who are obese.
- Wome with diabetes.
- Women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Women with a close family history of endometrial cancer (your mother, sister, grandmother or aunt had the disease).
- Women who are breastfeeding.
- Women taking oestrogen only hormone replacement therapy or tamoxifen.
Not to be used in
- Women with irregular periods or bleeding between periods (the cause of this should be investigated by your doctor).
- Women with a blood clot in a blood vessel (thromboembolism, eg deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism).
- Women at risk of getting a blood clot in the blood vessels, for example due to a personal or family history of blood clots.
- Women with blood in the urine (haematuria).
- Women with decreased kidney function.
- Women taking oral contraceptive medicines.
- Women taking medicines to prevent blood clots (anticoagulants), such as warfarin or heparin.
- Girls under 18 years old.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- The safety of this medicine for use during pregnancy has not been established. You should not take this medicine if you are, or think you could be pregnant.
- This medicine passes into breast milk, but the amount is considered too small to be harmful to a nursing infant. If you are breastfeeding it is important to check with your doctor before taking this medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
Common (affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)
Uncommon (affect between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 people)
- Allergic skin reactions such as itching, redness or swelling of skin.
- Blood clot in the eye
- Disturbance of colour vision.
- Blood clot in the blood vessels (thrombosis - see warning section above for symptoms to look out for).
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.
This medicine will counteract the effect of fibrinolytic medicines used to disperse blood clots and will stop these from working. These medicines include the following:
Other medicines containing the same active ingredient
Tranexamic acid tablets are also available on prescription without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.