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Thrombolytics are medicines that dissolve blood clots fast. Blood clots are a common cause of heart attack.
A heart attack happens when one or more of the coronary arteries is blocked. They supply the heart with oxygen-rich blood. A blockage usually occurs when plaque inside the artery breaks open and a blood clot forms.
By dissolving the clot fast, the medicine helps blood to flow normally again. This can limit damage to the heart muscle.
This treatment is done while you are in the hospital.
The medicine is given through a vein in your hand or arm. It travels through the bloodstream to the clot.
This medicine greatly increases the risk of bleeding throughout your body. Bleeding is serious when it happens anywhere inside your body. It is even more serious if it happens in or around your brain.
You'll be closely watched for some time after the treatment to make sure there is no bleeding.
You'll also get other treatment to help you get better and to prevent another heart attack.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Current as of: September 7, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Colin Chalk MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
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