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Alteplase Solution for injection

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.

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.

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

  • blood in the urine, stools, or vomit

  • chest pain or tightness

  • constipation

  • fever

  • severe headache

  • shortness of breath

  • slow or fast heart rate

  • unusual bleeding, bruising, or purple spots on the skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • dizziness, lightheadedness

  • nausea, vomiting

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • aminocaproic acid

  • aprotinin

  • 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

  • dipyridamole

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

Where should I keep my medicine?

This does not apply. You will not be given this medicine to store at home.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • aneurysm

  • bleeding problems or problems with blood clotting

  • blood vessel disease or damaged blood vessels

  • diabetic retinopathy

  • head injury or tumor

  • high blood pressure

  • infection

  • 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

  • breast-feeding

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.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Date Last Reviewed: 3/11/2009
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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