Stroke drug could be more widely used to clear brain blood clots
While patients who exhibit signs of tissue damage are still less likely to make a full recovery, alterplase consistently aids recovery and is, in most cases, worth prescribing — according to the results of the new study.
The study showed that only when patients show multiple signs of an increased bleeding risk should doctors consider withholding alterplase. For patients who showed old tissue damage from other diseases as well as signs of a fresh blood clot, just 14 percent proved more likely to suffer a hemorrhage after receiving alteplase.
“Bleeding in the brain is the main side effect of alteplase, so if we can avoid that hazard, then patients are more likely to benefit,” said study author Joanna Wardlaw, professor at Edinburgh’s School of Clinical Sciences.
The analysis was made possible by a clinical study involving some 3,000 stroke patients who were administered alteplase. The results were detailed in two studies published in the most recent issue of the journal Lancet Neurology.