Reteplase is used for thetreatment of a heart attack called myocardial infarction. Myocardial infarctionis the irreversible death of heart muscle secondary to prolonged lack of oxygensupply. A heart attack occurs when one of the heart’s coronary arteries isblocked suddenly or has extremely slow blood flow. The usual cause of a suddenblockage in a coronary artery is the formation of a blood clot. Blood clots are made of red bloodcells and platelets bound together with a substance called fibrin. When theyhave already achieved their normal purpose of stopping bleeding, the bodydissolves clots. It is by producing another substance called plasmin. Plasminbreaks down fibrin and allows the clots to break up.

This medication is used to preventcongestive heart failure or death and improve heart function in people who havehad a heart attack. Reteplase is a thrombolytic drug that is used to dissolveblood clots. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved thisprescription. This belongs in the class of drugs called recombinant plasminogenactivator. The product comes as a sterile, white, and lyophilized powder forintravenous bolus injection. This is available in the dosage form of 10.4 unitswhich is equivalent to 18.1 mg.

Howdoes Reteplase work?

Reteplase works by attaching tothe fibrin in abnormal blood clots such as in the arteries supplying the heart.It activates the production of plasmin which causes the clots to disintegrate. Thisunblocks the blood vessel and allows blood flow to resume to the heart.

This drug must be given as soonas possible after the onset of symptoms and within 12 hours. It is to lessenthe amount of damage to the heart.

Howto use Reteplase?

The dosage is based on yourmedical condition and response to the treatment. Your doctor may direct you tostart at a low dose and gradually change it. You should take each dose exactlyas it is prescribed.

Reteplase is given by injectioninto a vein to break up the blood clot. You will also be given aspirin andheparin to decrease the risk of further blood clots. This medication is used asdirected by your doctor. This medication should not suddenly stop without theconsent of your doctor. If your condition does not improve or if it gets worse,call your doctor right away.

Whatare the side effects of Reteplase?

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Blood in the urine
  • Injection site bleeding
  • Fever
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloody or tarry stools
  • Vomiting blood or vomit that looks like coffeegrounds

Let your doctor know right awayif these occur:

  • Hives or itching
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling of your lips, face, or tongue

Warningsand Precautions

  • This is not recommended for use in breastfeedingwomen. During pregnancy, this is used only when needed.
  • Do not use this if you ever had an allergicreaction to Reteplase.
  • Use this with caution in people over the age of 75years, people with hypertension, and with narrowing of one of the valves in theheart.
  • This is not for use in people with blood clottingdisorders, with a history of stroke, and severely decreased liver or kidneyfunction.