Stroke Treatment: Drug Treatment

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Are there drugs to help restore blood flow to the brain?

Stroke Treatment: Drug Treatment

There are some drugs that can help with stroke treatment by reestablishing blood flow to the brain. Thrombolytics are drugs that help to reestablish blood flow by dissolving the blood clots. In order for thrombolytic therapy to be effective, it must be given as soon as possible. A name brand for a “clot-buster” drug is Activase®.

Activase® was approved for marketing in June of 1996. It contains an enzyme that is normally found in the body. This enzyme converts plasminogen into another enzyme to break down blood clots. This drug can be injected into the patient. Patients that receive Activase® within three hours of the beginning of the stroke are 33 percent more likely to recover from their stroke.

In 2004, the FDA started to allow doctors to use Medical's Merci®. This medication is good when it is too late for Activase® to be effective (after about three hours, Activase® loses it effectiveness). Merci® removes blood clots in the larger blood vessels and restores blood flow to the brain.



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