The antifibrinolytic drug tranexamic acid was assessed in controlling bleeding in 12 patients with left-sided proctocolitis. The study was designed as a double-blind cross-over trial employing a dose of 4·5 g of tranexamic acid/day together with identical placebo. A statistically significant reduction in rectal bleeding was achieved in 50% of cases with a minimum of side effects. Sigmoidoscopic grading of rectal mucosal appearances was improved. Frequency of diarrhoea and stool consistency were not altered.
Tranexamic acid may have a part to play in the management of selected patients with ulcerative colitis in whom bleeding is difficult to control with orthodox treatment.