The drug called Tranexamic Acid (TXA) works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. This breaking down of blood clots, however, reduces or prevents prolonged bleeding in women after birth. Moreso, this drug belongs to a class of drugs called antifibrinolytics. And tranexamic acid is not a hormone and it is a widely available drug that is inexpensive. There have been reports of women who have died of bleeding after childbirth. Hence, this drug has been able to curtail and solve the problem of women bleeding to death. This has been beneficial to Africa and the world as long as there is a health center and women.
Background Story of the drug Tranexamic Acid (TXA)
This drug was first made in 1962 by Japanese Researchers called Shosuke and Utako Okamoto. Shosuke and Utako were a husband and a wife living in Kobe Japan. The background story of the invention of Tranexamic would have been lost if no one had met with Utako. Utako is a coinventor of Tranexamic Acid who was born in Japan on April 1, 1918, and died in Kobe, Japan, on April 12, 2016, at age 98. However, Tranexamic Acid is a synthetic drug made of Amino Acid Lysine which reduces bleeding and prevents the excess breakdown of Fibrin Clots.
The Discovery Of Tranexamic Acid
Utako Okamoto is the woman behind this drug she graduated from Tokyo Women’s Medical University. Despite all the chanllenges she went through as a woman in a team of male researchers after her husband passed on. However, they discovered that is an enzyme in the blood called Plasmin that breaks down Fibrin Clots. Hence they sarted a research on blood and wanted to find a drug that would inhibit the action of Plasmin. Moreso, during their blood screenings they found LYNSINE. And they wondered if removing an Amino group from the lynsine molecule would increase it’s potency. After the research in a new class of Anti-Fibrinolytic drugs-Epsilon-Amino-Caproic Acid (EACA) the removal of Amino group frm the Lysine did increase its potency. However, during the cause of their continous research they discovered that the drug Tranexamic Acid was more effective than EACA. According to txacentral
With that attainment they published their result in the Kei Journal of Medicine in 1962. However, they were faced with the challenge of getting local obstetricians to evalute its use in Post-Partum Haemorrhage. In order to solve Post-Partum Haemorrhage which was a leading cause of maternal death in Japan then. Hence the drug was marketed as a treatment for heavy menstrual periods and bleeding from tooth extraction. Furthermore, trials were carried out on this drugs by investigors and it was declared effective for Post-Partum Haemorrhage. Utako died two weeks before the trials reached its recruitment target of 20,000 patients in 2016.
Functions Of The Drug Tranexamic Acid
This drug has been listed as an Essential Medicine by the World Health Organization hence it is frequently used for;
- Major Trauma; it reduces the risk of death for people who have significant bleeding due to trauma especially when taken within the first 3hours.
- To prevent and treat blood loss such as dental procedures for hemophiliacs.
- Heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Surgeries with a high risk of blood loss.
- It is used after delivery to reduce bleeding.