In a recent study, researchers at several sites across the country investigated the clinical management of women experiencing menorrhagia, heavy, prolonged menstrual bleeding. The lead investigator was Peter A. Kouides, MD, Medical and Research Director of the Mary M. Gooley Hemophilia Center at Rochester General Hospital (NY). The crossover study included 116 women with menorrhagia, an abnormal hemostasis lab report and a negative gynecological evaluation.
The women were randomly prescribed one of two drugs: desmopressin acetate (DDAVP) or tranexamic acid (TA) therapy for two menstrual cycles. They were then “crossed over” to the other drug for two additional menstrual cycles.
DDAVP is a synthetic form of the hormone vasopressin. The drug, used to treat hemorrhaging in mild and some moderate bleeding disorder patients, can be taken intravenously or via nasal spray. TA is an anti-fibrinolytic agent (a drug that helps prevent the breakdown of clots) that is given as a tablet or intravenously.
Applying a pictorial blood assessment chart scoring system, each subject’s menstrual blood loss (MBL) was measured prior to the initiation of therapy and following each menstrual cycle. The results showed that scores decreased, corresponding with a subsequent reduction in menstrual bleeding for women using both products.
Investigators reported that these outcomes were linked to improvements in overall quality of life (QOL), with one caveat. “We conclude that both medications reduced MBL and improved QOL among females with menorrhagia and abnormal laboratory haemostasis, but TA proved more effective.”
The study, “Multisite Management Study of Menorrhagia with Abnormal Laboratory Haemostasis: A Prospective Crossover Study of Intranasal Desmopressin and Oral Tranexamic Acid,” was published in the April 2009 issue of the British Journal of Haematology.