Thrombolytic therapy is the use of drugs to break up the clot that is causing the disruption in blood flow to the brain.
It is imperative 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 directly affect your recovery. Patients who present to the hospital within 3 hours of the first sign of a stroke have the possibility to receive alteplase (Activase®). Activase® is a clot-buster. It breaks-up the clot to restore blood flow to the area of the stroke.
There are many factors that determine whether or not a patient is able to receive thrombolytic therapy. One of these factors is the amount of time between the onset of symptoms and presentation to the hospital. If you get to the hospital within the 3 hour time frame and the doctor determines you are able to receive this clot-buster, you may have a better recovery.
There are other treatments for patients not able to receive thrombolytic treatment.