Amicar: How This Medication Works and Who It Can Benefit
Amicar (aminocaproic acid) belongs to a family of drugs called hemostatics or antifibrinolytic agents. Other names for this medication include:
- ε-aminocaproic acid
- ε-aminohexanoic acid
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How Is Amicar Supplied and Used?
Aminocaproic acid comes in the following preparations and strengths:
- Oral tablets (500 mg, 1000 mg)
- Oral liquid (1.25 g/5 ml)
- Solution for intravenous (IV) infusion (250 mg/ml)
Store at room temperature in a dry place.
Tablets: Take with or without food as directed by your physician.
Oral Liquid: Measure the liquid dose carefully using the measuring device that comes with the drug. Take with or without food as directed by your physician.
Store the intact vial at room temperature. Diluted solutions are stable at 39°F and 73°F for 7 days.
Your healthcare provider administers the IV solution by infusion, using NaCl injection 0.9%, dextrose injection 5%, or Ringer’s injection as a vehicle (diluent). The manufacturer does not recommend injecting the undiluted solution into the vein.
You will typically receive a higher dose during the first hour and a lower dose afterward. The treatment lasts for about 8 hours or until the bleeding is controlled.
How Does Amicar Work?
Your body reacts to an injury by stopping bleeding and repairing damaged tissues. While doing so, it is critical that you do not develop excessive blood clots; otherwise, they might obstruct blood flow in your vessels.
Numerous proteins and enzymes regulate this delicate bleeding-clotting mechanism. For example, a protein—fibrin—helps form blood clots. On the other hand, an enzyme called plasminogen dissolves fibrin clots to prevent excessive clotting in a process known as fibrinolysis.
Some people have unusually rapid fibrinolysis, putting them at a higher risk of bleeding-associated complications. Amicar works by delaying or stopping fibrinolysis. Hence, it is also known as an antifibrinolytic agent.
What Is Amicar Used to Treat?
- Acute bleeding (causes may include cardiac surgery, hematologic disorders, neoplastic disorders, abruptio placentae, hepatic cirrhosis, and urinary fibrinolysis).
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, refractory bleeding (off-label use)
- Intracranial hemorrhage associated with thrombolytic treatment (off-label use)
- Mouth and mucosal bleeding in patients with hemostatic defects
- Perioperative prevention of blood loss and transfusion (off-label use)
- Thrombocytopenia (off-label use)
Amicar is well tolerated, though some users may experience severe side effects.
Mild side effects
Mild side effects usually go away as the treatment progresses. However, call your doctor if any of them are severe or persist. Mild side effects include:
- Stomach pain
- Pain at the injection site
- Itchy skin
- Feeling of illness
- Nose stuffiness
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Severe side effects
Call your doctor immediately if you experience:
- Hallucinations (experiencing things that do not exist)
- Swollen arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Hives or rashes
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Muscle weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid breathing
- Chest pain
- Excessive sweating
- Sudden weakness, numbness, or coldness in an arm or leg
- Slowed speech
- Irregular heartbeat
- Coughing up blood
- Decreased urine output or brown urine
Use in Pregnancy and Lactation
There is no animal or human data to assess the risks associated with use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Nonetheless, your doctor may prescribe this drug if clearly needed.
How Much Does Amicar Cost?
The price may vary depending on your insurance, location, and the pharmacy you visit. Click here to learn about the prices of Amicar and its generic versions.
Warning: Amicar injection contains benzyl alcohol as a preservative and is not recommended for use in newborns.
This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about your medical condition prior to starting any new treatment. AmeriPharma Specialty Care assumes no liability whatsoever for the information provided or for any diagnosis or treatment made as a result, nor is it responsible for the reliability of the content.
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Mariam Agaiby, Rph is originally from Egypt and has been a practicing pharmacist for 15 years. She attended college at Faculty of Pharmacy Mansoura University in 2006 and completed her residency at Central Hospital and Dermatology Hospital. The most rewarding part of her job is forming close relationships with her patients where they know they can rely on her. In her free time, she loves singing, dancing, and making others smile.