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Side Effects
Serious

Shortness of breath; weakness or numbness of arm or leg; slurred speech; severe and sudden headache; sharp pain in the chest, upper arm, or legs; vision changes. Although the frequency is rare, such symptoms may be signaling a stroke or heart attack. Other rare, but serious side effects include: bleeding problems, seizures, and hallucinations. Discontinue the medication and seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
Common

Nausea, diarrhea, severe menstrual cramps, muscle cramps and aches, vomiting. Notify your doctor if such symptoms persist.
Less Common

Dizziness, headache, muscle weakness and fatigue, ringing in the ears, skin rash, abdominal pain, rapid weight gain, swelling in the feet, face, and legs, nasal congestion, delirium, confusion.
Aminocaproic Acid


Drug Class:
Antifibrolytic (bleeding prevention) agent

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: Yes

Amicar 500 mg
(Immunex)

Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Tablets, syrup, injection

Why Prescribed
To treat serious bleeding that occurs after surgery or dental work or to prevent potentially life-threatening bleeding during surgery in patients with hemophilia, low blood platelet counts, or other medical problems.

How It Works
Aminocaproic acid inhibits certain biochemical reactions that involve enzymes, including the activation of plasminogen, a natural enzyme that dissolves blood clots. As a result, blood becomes more prone to clotting, which helps to stanch episodes of uncontrolled bleeding.

Range and Frequency
Adults: Initial dose is 5 g, then 1 or 1.25 g per hour, three or four times a day after the initial dose. The maximum daily dose is 30 g per day. It may be taken by mouth or intravenously. Children: Initial dose is 45.5 mg per lb of body weight, followed by 15.1 mg per lb, three or four times a day, for two to eight days.

Onset of Effect
Within one hour.

Duration of Action
Three to four hours.

Dietary Advice
Tablet or syrup forms may be taken with food to prevent stomach irritation.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and direct light.

Missed Dose
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for the next dose. In that case, double the next dose. Then resume your regular dosage schedule.

Stopping the Drug
Do not stop taking aminocaproic acid without your doctor's consent, unless a serious problem occurs, at which time discontinue the drug immediately. Gradual reduction of the dosage may be necessary if you have taken the drug for a long time. Consult your doctor for specific guidelines. Never take more than 30 g per day.

Prolonged Use
Ask your doctor about the need for medical examinations or laboratory studies with prolonged use.

Over 60
No special problems are expected.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Do not drive or engage in hazardous work until you determine how the drug affects you.

Alcohol
Alcohol should be avoided because it decreases the therapeutic effect of aminocaproic acid.

Pregnancy
It is not known whether aminocaproic acid can cause fetal harm. It should be used during pregnancy only if clearly necessary, after a detailed discussion with your doctor.

Breast Feeding
Aminocaproic acid passes into breast milk, although it has not been reported to cause health problems in nursing infants. Consult your doctor or pediatrician for specific advice.

Infants and Children
Safety and effectiveness in young patients have not been established; this drug should be used in children only under a doctor's careful supervision.

Overdose Symptoms
Few cases of overdose have been reported. However, symptoms following high doses of injectable aminocaproic acid may include dizziness, confusion, slow heartbeat, fainting, sluggishness, fatigue, confusion, seizures, increased urination, gastrointestinal bleeding.

What to Do
Discontinue the medication and call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or local hospital immediately.

Drug Interactions
Oral contraceptives and estrogens boost the clot-promoting effect of aminocaproic acid, which may therefore increase the risk of potentially dangerous blood clot formation. Thrombolytic (blood clot-dissolving) agents such as streptokinase decrease the effect of aminocaproic acid.

Food Interactions
No significant food interactions have been reported.

Disease Interactions
Patients with a history of disseminated intravascular coagulation (also known as DIC, a rare disorder marked by excessive and hazardous blood coagulation) should not take aminocaproic acid. If you are pregnant or have heart disease, kidney disease, or liver disease, you may be at increased risk for side effects.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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