Evaluation of a shortened course of tranexamic acid for patients with inherited bleeding disorders following dental procedures

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People with Inherited Bleeding Disorders (IBD) are often prescribed a course of Tranexamic Acid (TXA) mouthwash for five to seven days following dental procedures to reduce the risk of bleeding. Informal discussions with patients suggested that many do not complete the prescribed course of treatment. A literature review indicated that TXA was prescribed inappropriately for procedures with a low bleeding risk, and that there are inconsistencies in the recommended dose, mode of administration and duration of TXA for this patient group. A new protocol was implemented in the haemophilia centre at St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, to rationalise the prescribing of TXA in dental procedures. A study was conducted to explore patients’ experience of this new guideline in the form of a service evaluation. Structured telephone interviews were completed following 39 dental procedures to collect data on concerns about bleeding; whether TXA was taken as prescribed and reasons for non-adherence; and any unplanned post-operative treatment. The financial impact of the new guideline was also explored. Patients were supportive of the new regimen, although almost half (46%) did not complete the prescribed course of TXA. The majority (37/39) were prescribed tablets rather than mouthwash. No patients required additional unplanned haemostasis support to control haemorrhage. Cost savings were made by replacing a five- to seven-day course of TXA mouthwash with a three-day course of TXA tablets. Although the data collected from patient interviews supports the new guideline, patients appear to be making decisions about taking TXA based on their own experience rather than following the prescribed regimen. Prescribers should support patients to make informed decisions about their medicines and incorporate patient experience into individualised regimens. Given the lack of bleeding complications experienced in this cohort of patients, it is possible that TXA is being overprescribed. Further work exploring how patients with IBDs make decisions about taking medicines is needed.

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