alteplase (TPA, Activase, Cathflo Activase)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is alteplase (TPA, Activase, Cathflo Activase)?

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.

What brand names are available for alteplase?

TPA, Activase, and Cathflo Activase are brand names available for alteplase.

Is alteplase (TPA, Activase, Cathflo Activase) available as a generic drug?

No

Do I need a prescription for alteplase (TPA, Activase, Cathflo Activase)?

Yes

Why is alteplase (TPA, Activase, Cathflo Activase) prescribed to patients?

  • 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 also is used for clearing blood clots from blocked venous catheters.

What are the side effects of alteplase (TPA, Activase, Cathflo Activase)?

The most common and serious side effect of alteplase is bleeding. Minor bleeding is more common, but significant bleeding such as into the brain (intracranial hemorrhage) or fatal bleeding also occurs.

Other important side effects include:

Other possible serious side effects include:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/3/2016

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