Table of Contents > Drug > Alteplase Print



Related terms
Author information


    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Activase®;Cathflo® Activase®
    • Brand Names: Canada: Activase® rt-PA;Cathflo® Activase®

    • It is used to stop heart muscle problems during a heart attack.
    • It is used to clear blood clots out of catheters.
    • It is used to treat blood clots.
    • Alteplase gets rid of blood clots.


    How to take

    • It is given as a shot into a vein.
    • It is given as a shot into the catheter.

    Missed Dose

    • Call your doctor to find out what to do.


    • This drug will be given to you in a hospital or doctor's office. You will not store it at home.



    • If you have an allergy to alteplase or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you have any of these health problems: Aneurysm, arteriovenous malformations, bleeding problems, brain tumor, injury to the brain or spine in the last 2 months, stroke, surgery on the brain or spine in the last 2 months, or very high blood pressure.


    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • If you have had any recent surgery or dental care, talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Use care to stop injury and avoid falls or crashes.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

    Side Effects

    • Very bad bleeding may rarely happen.


    • Change in the health problem being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Chest pain or pressure.
    • Any bruising or bleeding.
    • Change in thinking clearly and with logic.
    • Very bad headache.
    • Very bad back pain.
    • Very bad belly pain.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Any rash.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

    Search Site