Coronary arteries become narrowed when cholesterol builds up on the inside wall of the artery. If a clot forms where the artery is narrowed, then the artery becomes completely blocked, causing angina or a heart attack. Thrombolytic medications are powerful blood thinners that can break down new blood clots in the coronary arteries.
Thrombolytic medications include:
- Alteplase, (t-PA, Activase)
- Reteplase (Retavase)
- Anistreplase (Eminase)
- Streptokinase (Kabikinase, Streptase)
- Tissue plasminogen activator
- Tenecteplase (TNKase)
Severe bleeding is the major complication of the thrombolytic medications. Overall, they reduce the risk of death from a heart attack.
Conditions in which thrombolytics are not used include:
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