New Drug Helps Hemophiliacs
FDA has approved a drug to reduce bleeding in hemophiliacswho must have teeth extracted.
Hemophiliacs have a hereditary deficiency of certainblood proteins, or factors, that help clot the blood. Because of this, they may bleed for a long time following tooth extraction.
The drug, tranexamic acid, blocks the enzymes thatdissolve clots, thus helping the hemophiliac's weak clots to survive. The drug can lessen or eliminate the need for transfusions of blood-clotting factor.
Because damage to the retina of the eye was observedduring animal studies with the drug, the labeling recommends an eye examination before and during treatment if treatment lasts for more than several days. Usually the patient starts taking the drug one day before the extraction and continues to take it two to eight days after.
KabiVitrum of Stockholm will manufacture tranexamicacid, and KabiVitrum Inc. of Alameda, Calif., will distribute it under the trade name Cyklokapron.
(For more about hemophilia, see "Hemophilia HasOutlasted the Czars' in the June 1984 FDA Consumer.)
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