Tissue Plasminogen Activator

Thrombolytic (Fibrinolytic) Drugs are a group of drugs also called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) that are intended for use in patients with existing blood clots.

This medications is known to help break existing clots and can restore blood flow to the Brain, Heart, and Lungs.

It is often used early in treatment of a Stroke. It can also help with people who are experiencing a Heart Attack or a Pulmonary Embolism due to a blood clot.

It is administered through an IV.

This medication should not be given to those who have the following:

1.) A current aneurysm

2.) A current brain tumor.

3.) Have had recent surgery

4.) Has a predisposition to bleeding

5.) Experienced a seizure when the stroke began

6.) Is having a current hemmorrhagic stroke

Method of Action:

–  Enhances the breakdown of clots  [fibrinolysis]

–  Causes a conversion of plasminogen to plasmin

–  Therefore this medication causes an over excited response

Additional Information:

Typically prior to administraion of tPA a CT is done to ensure no current bleeding in the brain.

***Needs to be given within the first 3 hours of starting the ischemic stroke.  

After 3 hours the damage done to the brain is difficult to reverse.

When this medication is given after 3 hours there has been no shown effective improvement.