Retavase

1 What is Retavase?

Brand: Retavase

Generic: Reteplase, Recombinant

Retavase is an injectable clot-busting medicine that is used just after the onset of the heart attack symptoms to treat heart attacks.

It works by disintegrating blood clots inside the blood vessels of the heart. You can get this medicine only with your doctor's prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Retavase, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Together with your doctor, you can decide whether the medication will do you more goods than the harms.

Here are some factors to be considered before deciding to use this medicine:

Allergies: Inform your doctor about the allergies you have, such as to this medication, other medications, or to foods, dyes, or preservatives.

Pediatric: Safety and efficacy have not been well documented.

Geriatric: Not much is known about the use of this medicine in elderly but elderly people are expected to have a greater risk of serious bleeding from this medicine.

Pregnancy: It falls under pregnancy category C for all trimesters, meaning that due to lack of sufficient studies, it’s not clear if this medication is safe for use in pregnancy.

Breastfeeding: Use after assessing the risks and benefits.

Though usually not recommended, your doctor may decide, after adjusting dose or frequency of one or both medicines, to use this medicine with any of the following medicines:

  • Acenocoumarol
  • Alteplase, Recombinant
  • Anistreplase
  • Apixaban
  • Ardeparin
  • Argatroban
  • Aspirin
  • Bivalirudin
  • Certoparin
  • Dabigatran Etexilate
  • Dalteparin
  • Danaparoid
  • Desirudin
  • Edoxaban
  • Enoxaparin
  • Fondaparinux
  • Heparin
  • Lepirudin
  • Nadroparin
  • Parnaparin
  • Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium
  • Phenindione
  • Phenprocoumon
  • Protein C
  • Reviparin
  • Rivaroxaban
  • Streptokinase
  • Tenecteplase
  • Tinzaparin
  • Urokinase
  • Warfarin

Other Interactions: Taking your medicine together with certain foods or items such as alcohol or tobacco may cause undesirable interactions.

Talk to your doctor to know if using this medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco is safe.

Inform your doctor if you have any other medical conditions, including:

  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Bleeding disorders or previous occurrence of bleeding
  • Diseased blood vessels such as an aneurysm
  • Brain tumor or another brain disease
  • Recent brain or spinal surgery, or trauma: Do not use this medicine.
  • Diabetes associated eye conditions (hemorrhagic retinopathy)
  • Heart infections (pericarditis, endocarditis)
  • Previous occurrence of stroke, high blood cholesterol, blood clots
  • Severe kidney or liver problems
  • Surgery or injury of any kind, major and recent: Use cautiously.
  • Unchecked hypertension

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Retavase requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. This medicine is injected into your vein by a doctor or other trained health professional.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Retavase, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor. Though usually non-serious, Retavase induced bleeding can cause serious problems in some people.

Here are some guidelines to help prevent serious bleeding from occurring:

  • Limit your movement. Move only when required and possible.
  • Keep a close eye on any bleeding or drainage such as from the injection site.
  • Observe your urine or stool to determine if blood is present.
  • Inform your doctor or nurse immediately if you notice any bleeding or injuries.

5 Potential Side Effects

Make sure you meet with your doctor in using Retavase to avoid unwanted potential side effects.

Consult your doctor immediately if you have any of the following side effects:

More common: 

  • Blood leaking from the injection site
  • Bloody urine
  • Blood in stools
  • Tar-like stools
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vomit containing blood or coffee grounds-like substance

Less common: 

  • Abnormal bleeding or bruising
  • Breathing problems during physical activities
  • Excessive tiredness or weakness
  • Very light skin

Rare: 

  • Blurry vision
  • Breathing or swallowing difficulties
  • Chest discomfort
  • Confusion
  • Cough
  • Feeling dizzy or fainting when changing the position
  • Noisy breathing
  • Rash
  • Sudden rapid heart rhythm
  • Sweating
  • Swollen eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • Welts

The side effects of the medicine are not limited to the ones listed above. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any side effects that are uncommon or worry you. To report side effects to the FDA, contact at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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