Randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study of oral tranexamic acid in the treatment of moderate-to-severe melasma

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Abstract

Background

Melasma is a common pigmentary disorder that is often difficult to treat. Tranexamic acid (TA) has emerged as a promising treatment for melasma; however, few controlled studies exist.

Objective

To determine the efficacy of oral TA in patients with moderate-to-severe melasma.

Methods

Patients with moderate-to-severe melasma were treated with 250 mg of TA or placebo capsules twice daily for 3 months and sunscreen followed by 3 months of treatment with sunscreen only. The primary outcome measure was the modified Melasma Area and Severity Index (mMASI) score.

Results

A total of 44 patients were enrolled and 39 completed the study. At 3 months, there was a 49% reduction in mMASI score in the TA group versus 18% in the control group. Patients with severe melasma improved more than those with moderate melasma. Three months after treatment was stopped, there was a 26% reduction in mMASI score in the TA group compared with the baseline visit versus a 19% reduction in the placebo arm. No serious adverse events were noted in either group.

Limitations

Single-center study enrolling predominantly Hispanic women.

Conclusions

Oral TA appears to be an effective treatment for moderate-to-severe melasma with minimal side effects.

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