Topical Tranexamic Acid Compared With Anterior Nasal Packing for Treatment of Epistaxis in Patients Taking Antiplatelet Drugs: Randomized Controlled Trial

Acad Emerg Med. 2018 Mar;25(3):261-266. doi: 10.1111/acem.13345. Epub 2017 Dec 9.


Objective: We evaluated the efficacy of topical application of the injectable form of tranexamic acid (TXA) compared with anterior nasal packing (ANP) for the treatment of epistaxis in patients taking antiplatelet drugs (aspirin, clopidogrel, or both) who presented to the emergency department (ED).

Methods: A randomized, parallel-group clinical trial was conducted at two EDs. A total of 124 participants were randomized to receive topical TXA (500 mg in 5 mL) or ANP, 62 patients per group. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients in each group whose bleeding had stopped at 10 minutes. Secondary outcomes were the rebleeding rate at 24 hours and 1 week, ED length of stay (LOS), and patient satisfaction.

Results: Within 10 minutes of treatment, bleeding was stopped in 73% of the patients in the TXA group, compared with 29% in the ANP group (difference = 44%, 95% confidence interval, 26% to 57%; p < 0.001). Additionally, rebleeding was reported in 5 and 10% of patients during the first 24 hours in the TXA and the ANP groups, respectively. At 1 week, 5% of patients in the TXA group and 21% of patients in the ANP group had experienced recurrent bleeding (p = 0.007). Patients in the TXA group reported higher satisfaction scores (median [interquartile range {IQR}], 9 [8-9.25]) compared with the ANP group (median [IQR] = 4 [3-5]; p < 0.001). Discharge from the ED in <2 hours was achieved in 97% of patients in the TXA group versus 13% in the ANP group (p < 0.001). There were no adverse events reported in either group.

Conclusions: In our study population, epistaxis treatment with topical application of TXA resulted in faster bleeding cessation, less rebleeding at 1 week, shorter ED LOS, and higher patient satisfaction compared with ANP.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Aged
  • Antifibrinolytic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Endotamponade / methods*
  • Epistaxis / drug therapy*
  • Epistaxis / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Recurrence
  • Tranexamic Acid / administration & dosage*


  • Antifibrinolytic Agents
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Tranexamic Acid