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Thrombolytic Medicines

What are thrombolytic medicines used for?

Thrombolytic medicines, also called clot busters, break up or dissolve blood clots. When blood clots form inside a blood vessel, they can block the flow of blood to the heart, lungs, brain, or other parts of the body. Blood carries oxygen and nutrition to the body. Blood clots may cause serious medical problems, like a heart attack or stroke, and permanent damage.

If you are having a heart attack, a stroke, or other problems caused by a clot, your healthcare provider will decide if you should get this medicine. Starting this medicine within a few hours after you start having symptoms can improve your chances of recovery. Once a clot is gone, normal blood flow returns and there may be little damage. You may still need other types of treatment in addition to thrombolytic medicines.

Thrombolytic medicines are not safe for some people. Your provider will decide if this medicine can be used to treat you.

How do they work?

Blood clots are made of fibrin. Fibrin causes blood to become solid. Thrombolytic medicines work with a chemical in your body to break down the fibrin and get rid of the clot.

What else do I need to know about this medicine?

  • Thrombolytic medicine can cause serious bleeding. Talk to your healthcare provider about the precautions that you should take while being treated with this medicine. Tell your provider right away if you notice any bleeding.
  • Many medicines have side effects. A side effect is a symptom or problem that is caused by the medicine. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist what side effects the medicine may cause and what you should do if you have side effects.
  • Keep a list of your medicines with you. List all of the prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins that you take. Tell all healthcare providers who treat you about all of the products you are taking.

If you have any questions, ask your healthcare provider for more information. Be sure to keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-02-02
Last reviewed: 2014-01-25
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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