Broward Health North
Stroke Center

Stroke Center

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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.


Broward Health North's Stroke Center is recognized as a certified Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Agency for Healthcare Administration.

The Joint Commission is the nation's predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. This designation offers the public a way to identify which hospitals offer the best possible outcomes for stroke patients.

At Broward Health North, assessment and treatment begin in the Emergency Department by a specially trained team called the 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. Ten nurses at Broward Health North have gone above and beyond to obtain the prestigious Certified Neurological Registered Nurse designation. They are fully prepared to help you and your loved one through this delicate time. Our designated Stroke Unit is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to ensure your loved one receives the best possible care.

If you require rehabilitation after your stroke, Broward Health North’s Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation Unit is here to keep you on a path to recovery. Our rehabilitation unit is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and is the first hospital in Florida to attain Joint Commission Certification for Stroke Rehabilitation.

What is a stroke?

Stroke is a cerebro-vascular disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. Every 45 seconds, someone in America has a stroke. Every three minutes, someone dies of one. It is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of severe, long-term disability.

Stroke Warning Signs

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, swallowing or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
  • If you experience these symptoms, dial 911!

Risk Factors

Some risk factors cannot be changed or controlled like age, family history and gender. However, reducing the following risk factors can prevent a stroke.

  • High blood pressure
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Physical inactivity and obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs) or mini strokes
  • Excessive alcohol and some illegal drugs

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