Thrombolytic therapy is the use of drugs to break up the clot that is causing the disruption of blood flow to the brain.

It is critical that you immediately go to the hospital when you first notice the warning signs of a stroke. The length of time between the first warning signs and the time you get to a hospital may be the difference between a good or poor outcome. Patients who present to the hospital within 3 hours of the first sign of a stroke may be able to receive alteplase (tPa, Activase®). Alteplase  is a clot-buster that can restore blood flow to the area of the stroke.

Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA, Activase®)

Tissue plasminogen activator is a thrombolytic drug (a “clot-buster”). It can reduce the severity of ischemic stroke if it is given within three hours of stroke onset. This drug can be given intravenously or by arterial catheter, but not by mouth.