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Angioedema is similar to hives but these raised swellings are deeper than merely on the surface of the skin, but in the deeper layers. Angioedema is an allergic reaction. Some of the causes for angioedema are certain foods like eggs, berries and nuts, animal dander, medicine allergies and pollen. In angioedema, there is rapid swelling just below the surface of the skin; usualy around the eyes and lips. These welts can be painful and may be accompanied by breathing difficulties and abdominal cramps. When they occur in the airways, the situation can be a medical emergency. Typically antihistamines or anti-inflammatory medicines are prescribed.

Heriditary angioedema: Genetically passed

Allergic angioedema: Reaction to an allergen

Drug-induced angioedema: Side effect to a medication

Idiopathic angioedema: Without any known trigger.


Hives or urticaria is red itchy spots that appear on the skin, their bump-like appearance being the reason for the given name. They usually occur when a person develops an allergy to a drug, insect sting or food item. Infections or stress may also lead to the condition due to the release of certain chemicals such as histamine or mast in the body. Histamine is released when the body is in contact with toxins or pollen. This is a common condition that usually occurs in individuals who are more prone to allergies.

Normally hives lasts about one to two days and in this duration it may change rapidly in size and location by the hour. It may appear to have completed receded, only to quickly reappear in another spot. Hives may be accompanied by a deeper swelling known as angioedema and may also appear in mucous membranes, the eyes and lips.

Chronic urticaria lasts about six weeks and in about 80% of the cases cannot be traced to any allergic reaction. Urticaria may cause difficulty in breathing and shock but this occurs only in rare cases and hives hardly leads to life threatening situations. Hives affects 15 to 20% of the population at some time in the course of their lives. Acute hives in children may be caused due to a viral infection.

Stress hives

It is said that having hives may lead to stress, but stress does not lead to hives. However some studies show that emotional stress may cause hives, as do extreme hot or cold weather conditions. Chronic stress and tension may cause hives, so it is important to find ways to relax and take some time off your normal routine. Stress affects the immune system and may indirectly lead to hives especially when it persists for a long period of time. Stress is known to affect the hormonal balance and the body chemistry leading to hives.

Hives usually recedes by itself without any serious implications. In severe conditions, drugs or injections may be prescribed. Only in rare cases where a swelling blocks the airway and prevents the person from breathing properly, would it be described as an emergency.

Tranexamic Acid

Tranexamic acid is used in the control of heavy bleeding or menorrhagia during periods. Since, this acid helps to stop blood clots from breaking down, bleeding is reduced. The lining in the womb clots and thus when you are having a period, it will reduce the heavy bleeding, though it will not stop the period altogether. By controlling heavy bleeding, it reduces the amount of blood loss with minor side effects. Tranexamic acid is an Antifibrinolytic medicine and is also called Cyklokapron which is available both in tablets and injection form.

Normally, when you bleed, your body forms clots to stop bleeding. In some, these blood clots break down and the bleeding continues and it is here that Tranexamic acid comes into play to stop the clots breaking down and thus reduce unwanted bleeding.

Conditions in which Tranexamic acid is used

Apart from heavy bleeding during periods or menorrhagia, Tranexamic acid is used in conditions such as unwanted or heavy bleeding post surgery, such as that on the prostrate, bladder and cervix, nosebleeds, bleeding inside the eye, during tooth extraction when bleeding is more than normal, and in conditions like Hemophilia and hereditary angioedema.

Precautions before consuming Tranexamic acid

Not all medicines suit all persons and with certain conditions, sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra precaution is taken. It is imperative to inform the medical practitioners before starting on Tranexamic acid:

  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding or planning to become pregnant.
  • If there are problems in kidneys and blood in urine.
  • If there has been a recent blood clotting problem.
  • If you have had fits
  • If you are on any medication, herbal medicines or contraceptive pill.
  • If the time between the start of periods is less than 21 days or more than 35 days.

Use of Tranexamic acid is not advised if:

  • You are allergic to any ingredient in Tranexamic acid
  • If there are blood clots in the leg, lung, eye, brain and a history of blood clots or conditions that risk blood clots such as heart valve problems, and irregular heartbeat etc.
  • If there is bleeding in the brain, blood in urine or bleeding related to kidney problems
  • Disturbance in color vision
  • Irregular menstrual period bleeding of unknown cause
  • Using birth control that contains estrogen and progestin
  • Using Medications which promote bleeding - eg. aspirin
  • Using medicines to help blood clot such as factor IX complex concentrates or anti-inhibitor coagulant concentrates.

Taking Tranexamic acid

It is essential to read the manufacturer's information leaflet before you start treatment. The tablets have to be taken exactly the way your medical practioner has prescribed, on the dosage and also the number of tablets to consume daily. The dose will vary from person to another. The tablets have to be swallowed drinking water - do not crush or chew them. You can instead crush the tablet and mix it with a small amount of soft food such as yogurt, honey or jam. In case of liquid medicine, the right amount using an oral syringe or medicine spoon has to be measured. You cannot use a kitchen spoon as it will not give the right amount. Tranexamic acid can be taken before or after food. The medicine will start working right away and will reduce the bleeding on the first day.

In case you have forgotten, better to go on with the next dose, and not to take the missed dose. Only take Tranexamic acid after periods have started. Not more than three doses can be taken (6 tablets) within 24 hours. It should not be taken for more than five days within any menstrual cycle. Thrice daily means, this should be once in the morning, once in the early afternoon and once in the evening. Ideally, these times are at least six hours apart, say, 8 am, 2 pm and 8 pm.

It is also important to keep regular appointment with the doctor. Tranexamic acid is taken for short duration only. In case you are undergoing any operation or dental treatment, remember to tell the doctor about taking Tranexamic acid.

Side effects of Tranexamic acid

Though not all experience these, some do suffer these side effects due to Tranexamic acid consumption:

  • Diarrhea,
  • Eyesight problems, such as with color vision
  • Back pain, headache, joint pain, muscle pain
  • Spasms, cramps
  • Nasal congestion
  • Stomach pain
  • Severe allergic reactions such as itching and difficulty in breathing
  • Swelling in mouth, face, lips and tongue, and flushing of face
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Coughing up blood
  • Decreased or difficulty in urination
  • Eye problems
  • Numbness in arm, leg or one sided weakness, seizures
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

If you are feeling sick, stick to simple meals, and avoid rich and spicy food. Also, it would be better to take tablets after meals. In case of diarrhea, take plenty of water to replace the lost fluids. Never take more than the prescribed dose and do not use outdated medicines. Seek medical attention right away if the side-effects persist.

Tranexamic acid precautions

It is imperative to keep medicines out of reach of children and pets; and also store in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. Tranexamic acid is stored at room temperature and should be kept away from heat, moisture and light. Do not store in the bathroom.

As this acid may cause dizziness, and it may worsen if it is taken with alcohol or certain other medicines, it is better to use it with caution. It is recommended not to drive until you know how you react to it. If your symptoms do not get better after two menstrual cycles and instead get worse, it is better to stop the acid and instead check with the doctor.

The risk of heart attack, stroke, or other blood clots may increase with Tranexamic acid use with hormonal birth control pills. This risk is even greater if you are overweight, or a smoker and are older than the age of 35. Tranexamic acid should be used with utmost caution in children younger than 18 as well as the elderly.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: October 19, 2017