What is this medicine?
ALTEPLASE (AL te plase) can dissolve blood clots that form in the heart, blood vessels, or lungs after a heart attack. This medicine is also given to improve recovery and decrease the chance of disability in patients having symptoms of a stroke.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Activase, Cathflo Activase
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- bleeding problems or problems with blood clotting
- blood vessel disease or damaged blood vessels
- diabetic retinopathy
- head injury or tumor
- high blood pressure
- irregular heartbeats
- previous stroke
- recent biopsy or surgery
- an unusual or allergic reaction to alteplase, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
This medicine is for injection into a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
This does not apply.
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- aminocaproic acid
- tranexamic acid
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- antiinflammatory drugs, NSAIDs like ibuprofen
- aspirin and aspirin-like medicines
- blood thinners, like warfarin, heparin or enoxaparin
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine. Follow the advice of your doctor or health care professional exactly. You may need bed rest to minimize the risk of bleeding.
This medicine can make you bleed more easily. This effect can last for several days. Take special care brushing or flossing your teeth.
Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or other nonprescription pain relievers during or for several days after alteplase treatment unless otherwise instructed by your doctor or health care professional.
You may feel dizzy or lightheaded. To avoid the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, sit or stand up slowly, especially if you are an older patient.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- signs and symptoms of bleeding such as bloody or black, tarry stools; red or dark-brown urine; spitting up blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds; red spots on the skin; unusual bruising or bleeding from the eye, gums, or nose
- signs and symptoms of a stroke such as changes in vision; confusion; trouble speaking or understanding; severe headaches; sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg; trouble walking; dizziness; loss of balance or coordination
- slow or fast heart rate
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- nausea, vomiting
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
This does not apply. You will not be given this medicine to store at home.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.