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Stroke Care

Stroke Care

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Alteplase Solution for injection

What is this medicine?

ALTEPLASE (AL te plase) can dissolve blood clots that form in the heart, blood vessels, or lungs after a heart attack. This medicine is also given to improve recovery and decrease the chance of disability in patients having symptoms of a stroke.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • aneurysm

  • bleeding problems or problems with blood clotting

  • blood vessel disease or damaged blood vessels

  • diabetic retinopathy

  • head injury or tumor

  • high blood pressure

  • infection

  • irregular heartbeats

  • previous stroke

  • recent biopsy or surgery

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to alteplase, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for injection into a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • aminocaproic acid

  • aprotinin

  • tranexamic acid

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • antiinflammatory drugs, NSAIDs like ibuprofen

  • aspirin and aspirin-like medicines

  • blood thinners, like warfarin, heparin or enoxaparin

  • dipyridamole

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine. Follow the advice of your doctor or health care professional exactly. You may need bed rest to minimize the risk of bleeding.

This medicine can make you bleed more easily. This effect can last for several days. Take special care brushing or flossing your teeth.

Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or other nonprescription pain relievers during or for several days after alteplase treatment unless otherwise instructed by your doctor or health care professional.

You may feel dizzy or lightheaded. To avoid the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, sit or stand up slowly, especially if you are an older patient.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • blood in the urine, stools, or vomit

  • chest pain or tightness

  • constipation

  • fever

  • severe headache

  • shortness of breath

  • slow or fast heart rate

  • unusual bleeding, bruising, or purple spots on the skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • dizziness, lightheadedness

  • nausea, vomiting

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medicine?

This does not apply. You will not be given this medicine to store at home.


About Our Stroke Center

At Broward Health Coral Springs, assessment and treatment begin in the Emergency Department by our Brain Attack Team (BAT). The BAT is available 24/7 and consists of Emergency Medical Services (EMS and paramedics), emergency medicine physicians, neurologists, neurosurgeons, interventional radiologists, radiologists and nursing staff. Our designated Stroke Unit is also equipped with state-of-the-art technology to ensure your loved one receives the best possible care. Broward Health Coral Springs is recognized as a certified Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission.

What Is a Stroke or Brain Attack?

Every 45 seconds, someone in America has a stroke. Every three minutes, someone dies of one.

Stroke is a cerebro-vascular disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of adult disability.

A stroke is similar to a heart attack. In a heart attack the blood flow is interrupted in the heart and it doesn't get enough oxygen. A brain attack is similar but blood flow to the brain is interrupted, the brain does not get enough oxygen and brain cells quickly begin to die.

Act F.A.S.T.

Act F.A.S.T.

If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do this simple test:

FACE Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

ARMS Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

SPEECH Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?

TIME If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important.

Call 911 and get to the hospital fast. Brain cells are dying.

Remember, 80 percent of strokes are preventable. Which means every year, up to 600,000 Americans could have prevented their strokes.

Common Questions Regarding a Stroke

What are the benefits of a Stroke Center?

  • Reduced morbidity and mortality
  • Advanced use of acute stroke therapies
  • Fewer stroke complications
  • Improved long-term outcomes
  • Improved efficiency of patient care
  • Increased patient satisfaction

Another way to remember stroke symptoms:

  • Sudden weakness on one side of the body or sudden weakness/numbness of face, arm, or leg
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing
  • Sudden trouble walking or loss of balance
  • Sudden severe headache

Call 911 at any sign of stroke

Controllable Risk Factors

Many of the things that increase your stroke risk can be controlled. The diseases that increase risk can be treated. Lifestyle choices such as eating and exercise habits can be changed.

Treatable Diseases That Increase Stroke Risk:

  • High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
  • Atrial Fibrillation (irregular heartbeat)
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes

Lifestyle Choices That Increase Stroke Risk:

  • Tobacco Use/Smoking
  • Alcohol Use
  • Obesity/Excessive Weight

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Uncontrollable Risk Factors

Some risk factors are controllable while others are not. The following are things you can't control but need to be aware of since they increase your risk for stroke.

  • Age. A stroke can happen to anyone, but your risk of stroke increases with age. After the age of 55, your stroke risk doubles for every decade.
  • Gender. Stroke is more common in men than women. But more women than men die from stroke.
  • Race. If you are African American, your risk is twice the rate for whites. If you are Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islander, your stroke risk is also higher than Caucasions.
  • Family History. If someone in your family has had a stroke, you have a higher risk of stroke yourself.
  • Previous Stroke or TIA. If you have already had a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke), you have a 25-40 percent chance of having another stroke in the next five years.

Having one or more of these risk factors does not mean you will automatically have a stroke. But because your stroke risk is higher, ask your doctor about changes you can make to prevent a stroke.

For more information about our services or a free physician referral, call the Broward Health Line at 954-759-7400.

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