Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jun 2, 2022.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Pharmacologic Class: Tissue Plasminogen Activator
Uses for urokinase
Urokinase injection is used to dissolve blood clots that have formed in the lungs (pulmonary embolism).
Urokinase was available only with your doctor's prescription.
Urokinase is not available in the United States as of October 2010.
Before using urokinase
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For urokinase, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to urokinase or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of urokinase injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of urokinase injection in geriatric patients.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving urokinase, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using urokinase with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using urokinase with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Alteplase, Recombinant
- Dabigatran Etexilate
- Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium
- Protein C
- Reteplase, Recombinant
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of urokinase. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Bleeding problems or a history of bleeding in any part of the body or
- Blood vessel problems (e.g., aneurysm) or
- Brain disease or tumor or
- Hypertension (high blood pressure), uncontrolled or
- Stroke, recent (within two months) or
- Surgery or injury to the brain or spine, recent (within two months) or
- Trauma including CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), recent—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Blood clotting disorders or
- Diabetic eye problems (e.g., hemorrhagic retinopathy) or
- Heart disease or infections (e.g., endocarditis, mitral stenosis) or
- Injections into a blood vessel or
- Kidney disease, severe or
- Liver disease, severe or
- Placement of any tube into the body or
- Surgery or injury of any kind, major and recent—The chance of serious bleeding may be increased.
- High cholesterol, history of—The chance of having a serious side effect may be increased.
Proper use of urokinase
A doctor or other trained health professional will give you urokinase. Urokinase is given through a needle placed into one of your veins.
Precautions while using urokinase
Urokinase can cause bleeding that usually is not serious. However, serious bleeding may occur in some people. To help prevent serious bleeding, carefully follow any instructions given by your doctor. Move around as little as possible, and do not get out of bed on your own, unless your doctor tells you it is all right to do so.
Watch for any bleeding or oozing on your skin, such as around the place of injection or where blood was drawn from your arm. Also, check for blood in your urine or bowel movements. If you have any bleeding or injuries, tell your doctor or nurse right away.
Urokinase side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Bleeding gums
- coughing up blood
- difficulty with breathing or swallowing
- increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding
- prolonged bleeding from cuts
- red or black, tarry stools
- red or dark brown urine
- shortness of breath
- fast heartbeat
- hives or welts
- itching skin
- noisy breathing
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- redness of the skin
- skin rash
- tightness in the chest
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
- Blue lips and fingernails
- blurred vision
- chest pain or discomfort
- coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
- difficult, fast, or noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing
- fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
- inability to speak
- increased sweating
- low blood pressure or pulse
- numbness or tingling in the face, arms, or legs
- pale skin
- severe or sudden headache
- severe or sudden weakness in the arm or leg on one side of the body
- slurred speech
- swelling in the legs and ankles
- trouble with walking or speaking
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about urokinase
- Side effects
- Drug interactions
- Dosage information
- During pregnancy
- En español
- Drug class: thrombolytics
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.