Generic Name: Reteplase
Class: Thrombolytic Agents
Chemical Name: 173-l-Serine-174-l-lysine-175-l-glutamine-173-527-plasminogen activator (human tissue-type)
Molecular Formula: C1736H2653N499O522S22
CAS Number: 133652-38-7
Thrombolytic agent; biosynthetic (recombinant DNA origin) form of human tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA).1
Uses for Retavase
Management of selected cases of acute evolving transmural MI in conjunction with anticoagulants (e.g., heparin) and/or platelet-aggregation inhibitors (i.e., aspirin).1 2 3 7 15 Used to improve ventricular function and reduce the incidence of CHF, cardiogenic shock, and associated post-MI mortality.1 2 3 7 8
Clinical benefit diminishes as the time period from symptom onset to initiation of therapy increases.2 3 5 6 15 19 Administer as soon as possible, preferably within 3–6 hours of acute MI.1 3 5 6 19 ACC and AHA recommend administration within 30 minutes of hospital admission or first contact with the health-care system.15 19
AHA and ACC recommend use of any marketed thrombolytic agent (e.g., alteplase, reteplase, tenecteplase) in patients having ischemic symptoms characteristic of MI for ≤12 hours and ST-segment elevation or new or presumed new left bundle-branch block, unless contraindications exist.15 19
ACC and AHA state that thrombolytic therapy is reasonable within 12–24 hours of symptom onset in patients with persistent ischemic symptoms accompanied by ST-segment elevation, provided no contraindications exist.15 19
The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) generally recommends against the use of systemic thrombolytic therapy in most patients with acute PE; however, in patients with acute PE associated with hypotension (e.g., systolic BP<90 mmHg), thrombolytic therapy may provide some benefit in terms of mortality reduction and is suggested as a possible treatment in patients without high risk of bleeding.1005
Retavase Dosage and Administration
For drug compatibility information, see Drug Compatibility under Stability.
Do not add other IV substances, additives, or other drugs to reteplase solution and do not infuse anything else simultaneously through the same IV line.1
If administered via an IV administration set that is used for infusing heparin, flush line with 0.9% sodium chloride or 5% dextrose solution prior to and following drug administration.1
Rate of Administration
Administer over 2 minutes.1
Expressed in reteplase-specific units, but also may be expressed in mg; each reteplase-specific unit is equivalent to 1.74 mg.1
Total dose is 20 units, given as two 10-unit IV injections 30 minutes apart.1
Lower doses of reteplase (two 5-unit doses 30 minutes apart) have been used in conjunction with a platelet glycoprotein (GP IIb/IIIa)-receptor inhibitor, heparin, and aspirin.13 14 15 (See Interactions.)
Cautions for Retavase
Effects on Hemostasis
Possible bleeding, including internal bleeding at intracranial or retroperitoneal sites or bleeding from the GI, GU, or respiratory tract.1 Superficial or surface bleeding at vascular puncture and access sites (e.g., venous cutdowns, arterial punctures) or sites of recent surgical intervention also may occur.1
Weigh increased risks of therapy against anticipated benefits in patients with recent major surgery (e.g., CABG), obstetric delivery, organ biopsy, previous puncture of noncompressible vessels, cerebrovascular disease, hypertension (SBP ≥180 mm Hg and/or DBP ≥110 mm Hg), hemostatic defects (e.g., secondary to severe hepatic or renal disease), recent GI (e.g., active peptic ulcer) or GU bleeding, or recent trauma.1 15 Also, weigh risks against benefits of therapy in patients with diabetic hemorrhagic retinopathy or other hemorrhagic ophthalmic conditions.1 Weigh risks against benefits in patients receiving concurrent oral anticoagulant therapy (e.g., warfarin).1 15 Weigh risks against benefits in patients with any condition in which bleeding constitutes a substantial hazard or would be particularly difficult to manage because of its location.1
Initiate therapy only after careful screening for contraindications.1
Minimize risk of bleeding by carefully selecting patients and monitoring all potential bleeding sites (e.g., sites of all venous cutdowns, arterial and venous punctures, needle punctures).1 Avoid IM injections and nonessential handling of patient.1 Perform invasive venous procedures carefully and as infrequently as possible.1 Minimize arterial punctures.1 Avoid arterial and venous invasive procedures in areas that are inaccessible to manual compression (e.g., internal jugular or subclavian punctures).1 Use of an artery in an upper extremity is preferred if an arterial puncture is essential.1 Apply pressure to the puncture site for ≥30 minutes followed by a pressure dressing and frequent inspection of the puncture site for bleeding.1
If serious bleeding occurs, immediately discontinue anticoagulant therapy; heparin anticoagulation can be reversed with protamine sulfate.1 Do not administer a second injection of reteplase if serious bleeding occurs with the first injection.1
Possible fatal cardiogenic shock, heart failure, cardiac arrest, recurrent myocardial ischemia or infarction, myocardial rupture, AV block, electromechanical dissociation, pericardial effusion, pericarditis, mitral regurgitation, cardiac tamponade, hypotension, pulmonary edema, or thromboembolism.1
Weigh risks against anticipated benefits of therapy in patients with a high likelihood of left heart thrombus (e.g., mitral stenosis with atrial fibrillation), acute pericarditis, subacute bacterial endocarditis, septic thrombophlebitis, or an occluded arteriovenous cannula at a seriously infected site.1
Possibly fatal cholesterol crystal embolization associated with invasive vascular procedures (e.g., cardiac catheterization, angiography, vascular surgery) and/or thrombolytic agents.1 Clinical features of cholesterol embolism include livedo reticularis, acute renal failure, gangrenous digits/purple toe syndrome, hypertension, pancreatitis, MI, cerebral infarction, spinal cord infarction, retinal artery occlusion, bowel infarction, and rhabdomyolysis.1
Institute appropriate therapy if an anaphylactoid reaction occurs.1
Increases risk of therapy in pregnant women; weigh risks against benefits of therapy in pregnant women.1
Weigh the risks of therapy against the potential benefits in patients with severe hepatic impairment.1
Weigh the risks of therapy against the potential benefits in patients with severe renal impairment.1
Common Adverse Effects
Interactions for Retavase
Monitor carefully for bleeding, especially at arterial puncture sites1
Monitor carefully for bleeding, especially at arterial puncture sites1
Weigh risks against anticipated benefits1
Not known whether reteplase is distributed into human milk.1
Cleared by the liver and kidney.1
Powder for Injection
2–25°C; protect from light.1
Reconstituted solutions contain no preservative.1 Preferably use solution immediately after preparation; may be used up to 4 hours after reconstitution if stored at 2–30°C.1 Discard any unused solution after 4 hours.1
For information on systemic interactions resulting from concomitant use, see Interactions.
Reteplase is incompatible with heparin.1
Advice to Patients
Importance of informing clinicians of existing or contemplated concomitant therapy, including prescription and OTC drugs, as well as any concomitant illnesses or recent surgery.1
Importance of informing patients of other important precautionary information.1 (See Cautions.)
Excipients in commercially available drug preparations may have clinically important effects in some individuals; consult specific product labeling for details.
Please refer to the ASHP Drug Shortages Resource Center for information on shortages of one or more of these preparations.
For IV use only
10.4 units (18.1 mg)
Retavase (with reconstitution kit containing sterile water for injection diluent and a double-ended sterile dispensing pin)
AHFS DI Essentials. © Copyright, 2016, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland 20814.
Date published: August 01, 2004
Last reviewed: February 14, 2013
Date modified: February 08, 2016
1. PDL BioPharma, Inc. Retavase (reteplase, recombinant) injection prescribing information. Freemont, CA; 2006 Jan.
2. Topol EJ, Ohman M, Armstrong PW et al. Survival outcomes 1 year after reperfusion therapy with either alteplase or reteplase for acute myocardial infarction: results from the Global utilization of Streptokinase and t-PA for Occluded Coronary Arteries (GUSTO) III trial. Circulation. 2000; 102:1761-5. [IDIS 454027] [PubMed 11023929]
3. The Global Use of Strategies to Open Occluded Coronary Arteries (GUSTO III) Investigators. A comparison of reteplase with alteplase for acute myocardial infarction. N Engl J Med. 1997; 337:118-23.
5. Ryan TJ, Antman EM, Brooks NH et al. ACC/AHA guidelines for the management of patients with acute myocardial infarction: 1999 update: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Committee on Management of Acute Myocardial Infarction). J Am Coll Cardiol. 1999; 34:89-911.
6. Internation Liason Committee on Resuscitation. Guidelines 2000 for cardiopulmonary rsuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care: an international consensus on science. Part 7, section 1. Acute coronary syndromes (acute myocardial infarction). Circulation. 2000; 102(Suppl. I):I-172-203.
7. International Joint Efficacy Comparison of Thrombolytics. Randomised, double-blind comparison of reteplase double-bolus administration with streptokinase in acute myocardial infarction (INJECT): trial to investigate equivalence. Lancet. 1995; 346:329-36. [IDIS 351255] [PubMed 7623530]
8. Smalling RW, Bode C, Kalbfleisch J et al et al. More rapid, complete, and stable coronary thrombolysis with bolus administration of reteplase compared with alteplase infusion in acute myocardial infarction. Circulation. 1995; 91:2725-32. [IDIS 348924] [PubMed 7758177]
9. Bode C, Smalling RW, Berg G et al et al. Randomized comparison of coronary thrombolysis achieved with double-bolus reteplase (recombinant plasminogen activator) and front-loaded, accelerated alteplase (recombinant tissue plasminogen activator) in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Circulation. 1996; 94:891-8. [IDIS 372165] [PubMed 8790022]
10. Tebbe U, von Essen R, Smolarz A et al. Open, noncontrolled dose-finding study with a novel recombinant plasminogen activator (BM 06.022) given as a double bolus in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Am J Cardiol. 1993; 72:518-24. [IDIS 319465] [PubMed 8362764]
11. Neuhaus KL, von Essen R, Vogt A et al. Dose finding with a novel recombinant plasminogen activator (BM 06.022) in patients with acute myocardial infarction: results of the German recombinant plasminogen activator study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1994; 24:55-60. [IDIS 332009] [PubMed 8006283]
12. Boehringer Mannheim Corporation, Gaithersburg, MD: Personal communication.
13. Centocor Inc., Malvern, PA: Personal communication.
14. Topol EJ, GUSTO V Investigators. Reperfusion therapy for acute myocardial infarction with fibrinolytic therapy or combinaiton reduced fibrinolytic therapy and platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibition: the GUSTO V randomized trial. Lancet. 2001; 357: 1905-14.
15. Antman EM, Anbe DT, Armstrong PW et al. ACC/AHA guidelines for the management of patients with ST-elevation acute myocardial infarction: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Committee to Revise the 1999 Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction). 2004. From website.
19. The American Heart Association. Guidelines 2005 for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care. Circulation. 2005; 112(Suppl I):IV1-211.
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1005. Kearon C, Akl EA, Comerota AJ et al. Antithrombotic therapy for VTE disease: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines. Chest. 2012; 141(2 Suppl):e419S-94S. [PubMed 22315268]
1013. Monagle P, Chan AK, Goldenberg NA et al. Antithrombotic therapy in neonates and children: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines. Chest. 2012; 141(2 Suppl):e737S-801S. [PubMed 22315277]
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