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Alteplase, recombinant (By injection)

Alteplase, Recombinant (AL-te-plase, ree-KOM-bi-nant)

Dissolves blood clots.

Brand Name(s):

Activase, Cathflo Activase

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to alteplase, any type of bleeding in your body (such as a bleeding ulcer), a brain tumor, a history of strokes, uncontrolled high blood pressure, a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia, or head surgery or injury within the past 6 weeks.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • This medicine will be given to you while you are in the hospital. It is put directly into one of your veins.
  • You may also receive other medicines, such as aspirin and heparin, with alteplase. These medicines help prevent more clots from forming.
  • You will get a dose of the medicine right away. You will continue to get the medicine for about 1 to 3 hours, depending on the condition being treated. Caregivers will watch you closely to make sure the medicine is working and is not causing side effects.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines may affect how alteplase works. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
    • Blood pressure medicine, such as benazepril, enalapril, lisinopril
    • Blood thinner medicine, such as warfarin or heparin
    • Dipyridamole
    • Pain or arthritis medicine, such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you recently had a baby or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Tell your doctor if you had surgery or dental work recently, or stomach problems such as ulcers or colitis.
  • This medicine may cause bleeding problems. Be extra careful to prevent injuries until the effects of the medicine have worn off. Do not get out of bed without help. Watch for any bleeding from open areas, such around your IV. Also check for blood in your urine or bowel movements.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Bloody or black, tarry bowel movements
  • Bloody urine
  • Bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Coughing up blood
  • Nosebleeds, bleeding from your gums, or any unexplained bruising or bleeding

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

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