IMPORTANT NOTE: The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

ALTEPLASE - INJECTION

(AL-teh-plays)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Activase

USES: This medication is an enzyme which works to break up and dissolve blood clots which can block arteries. It is used in the treatment of an acute heart attack or pulmonary embolism.

HOW TO USE: This medication is given by injection within 6 hours of chest pain by a health care professional. It is usually given over a two to three hour period. Continued or repeated doses are not usually required. It is important this medication be used as prescribed. It is most effective when administered as soon as possible after symptoms of a heart attack appear.

SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, vomiting, dizziness or mild fever may occur. If any of these effects continue or become bothersome, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor if you experience: easy bruising or bleeding, skin rash, trouble breathing, rapid or abnormal heartbeat, chest pain. Immediately report any signs of bleeding to your doctor. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

PRECAUTIONS: Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: bleeding disorders, high blood pressure, recent injury or surgery, liver disease, endocarditis, any allergies. Use extra caution to avoid injury and trauma while using this medication due to the increased risk of bleeding. This medication should be used only if clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is not known if this medication appears in breast milk. Consult with your doctor before breast-feeding.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Tell your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescription medication you may take including: "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), aspirin. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include fainting, vision changes, one-sided weakness, slurred speech, black stools, coughing up or vomiting blood, dizziness upon standing.

NOTES: Laboratory tests will be done frequently while using this medication to monitor its effects and to prevent side effects.

MISSED DOSE: Continued or repeated doses are usually not necessary for this medication.

STORAGE: Store in a cool area as directed and protect from light. Discard any unused medication after the expiration date on the label.

Developed by First DataBank, Inc., San Bruno, CA
Copyright 2004 by First DataBank, Inc.