Why is this medication prescribed?
Aminocaproic acid is used to control bleeding that occurs when blood clots are broken down too quickly. This type of bleeding may occur during or after heart or liver surgery; in people who have certain bleeding disorders; in people who have cancer of the prostate (a male reproductive gland), lung, stomach, or cervix (opening of the uterus); and in pregnant women experiencing placental abruption (placenta separates from the uterus before the baby is ready to be born). Aminocaproic acid is also used to control bleeding in the urinary tract (the organs in the body that produce and excrete urine) that may occur after prostate or kidney surgery or in people who have certain types of cancer. Aminocaproic acid should not be used to treat bleeding that is not caused by faster than normal clot breakdown, so your doctor may order tests to find the cause of your bleeding before you begin your treatment. Aminocaproic acid is in a class of medications called hemostatics. It works by slowing the breakdown of blood clots.
How should this medicine be used?
Aminocaproic acid comes as a tablet and a solution (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken once an hour for about 8 hours or until the bleeding is controlled. When aminocaproic acid is used to treat ongoing bleeding, it is usually taken every 3 to 6 hours. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take aminocaproic acid exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Shake the liquid well before each use to mix the medication evenly.
Your doctor may start you on a high dose of aminocaproic acid and gradually decrease your dose as the bleeding is controlled.
Other uses for this medicine
Aminocaproic acid is also sometimes used to treat bleeding in the eye that was caused by an injury. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking aminocaproic acid,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to aminocaproic acid or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following medications: factor IX (AlphaNine SD, Mononine); factor IX complex (Bebulin VH, Profilnine SD, Proplex T); and anti-inhibitor coagulant complex (Feiba VH). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had blood clots or kidney, heart or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking aminocaproic acid, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking aminocaproic acid.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Aminocaproic acid may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain or cramping
- hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- decreased or blurred vision
- ringing in the ears
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- muscle weakness
- shortness of breath
- chest pressure or squeezing pain in chest
- discomfort in arms, shoulders, neck or upper back
- excessive sweating
- feeling of heaviness, pain, warmth and/or swelling in a leg or in the pelvis
- sudden tingling or coldness in an arm or leg
- sudden slow or difficult speech
- sudden drowsiness or need to sleep
- sudden weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
- fast breathing
- sharp pain when taking a deep breath
- fast or slow heartbeat
- coughing up blood
- rust colored urine
- decreased amount of urine
Aminocaproic acid may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to aminocaproic acid.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
- Amicar® Tablets
- Amicar® Oral Solution