What is the role of medications in the treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB)?

Updated: Dec 07, 2018
  • Author: Millie A Behera, MD; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Estrogens, progestins, androgens, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ergot derivatives, antifibrinolytics, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists have been used to treat abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB). More recently, desmopressin has been used to control bleeding when associated with diagnosed bleeding disorders that do not respond entirely to traditional management.

Ergot derivatives are not recommended for treatment of AUB because they have been shown to be effective rarely in clinical studies and have many side effects.

At the onset of menses, secretory endometrium contains a high concentration of plasminogen activator. A reduction in menstrual blood loss has been demonstrated in some ovulatory patients taking ε -aminocaproic acid (EACA) or aminomethylcyclohexane-carboxylic acid (AMCHA) tranexamic acid, both potent antifibrinolytics. However, this therapeutic effect was no greater than that seen with oral contraceptive therapy. Antifibrinolytics are associated with significant side effects, such as severe nausea, diarrhea, headache, and allergic manifestations, and cannot be used in patients with renal failure. Because of the high side-effect profile and expense, these agents rarely are used today for this indication.

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