Tissue Plasminogen Activator

Tissue plasminogen activator can be used to treat some people who are having a stroke caused by a blood clot (ischemic strokes). It is given in a vein (intravenously, or IV) at the hospital and in some cases may be given directly into an artery. The medicine should be given within 4.5 hours after stroke symptoms begin. Strict criteria must be met in order to use the medicine. The medicine can be used to prevent disability after a stroke.

tPA dissolves blood clots, so giving it to someone who has bleeding in the brain can be life-threatening. A computed tomography (CT) scan of the head must be done before giving the medicine, to make sure there is no bleeding present in the brain. People who have had prior bleeding problems, recent surgery, or have problems with blood clotting cannot take tPA. Very high blood pressure, a recent bleeding ulcer, or brain cancer are other reasons not to use TPA.

Studies have shown that tPA helped people with strokes caused by clots (ischemic strokes) when it was given within 4.5 hours after stroke symptoms began. tPA can help treat a stroke, thus saving brain cells, so it is important for those who have the sudden onset of stroke symptoms to call 9-1-1 immediately.

To learn more about tPA treatment, contact us.