alteplase, Activase; Cathflo Activase; TPA

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GENERIC NAME: alteplase

BRAND NAME: Activase, Cathflo Activase, TPA

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Alteplase is an injectable drug, given directly into a vein, that is used to treat conditions caused by arterial blood clots including heart attacks, strokes, chest pain at rest (unstable angina), blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary thrombosis or embolus), and other less common conditions involving blood clots. Alteplase is an enzyme that occurs naturally in man and causes blood clots to dissolve. It is a man-made protein manufactured by recombinant DNA technology. The naturally occurring protein, known as tissue plasminogen activator (TPA), is made by ovarian cells from the Chinese hamster. The amount that is given to patients is far greater than the amount naturally made by the body itself. Alteplase was first approved for heart attacks in 1987. In 1996, it was approved for strokes.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Alteplase is used to treat persons with heart attacks (acute myocardial infarctions), strokes, chest pain at rest (unstable angina), blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary thrombosis or embolism), and other less common conditions involving blood clots. It is also used for clearing blood clots from blocked venous catheters.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/24/2015



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