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Generic Name: reteplase (RE te plase)
Brand Name: Retavase

What is reteplase?

Reteplase is a thrombolytic (THROM-bo-LIT-ik) drug that is used to dissolve blood clots.

Reteplase is used to improve heart function and prevent congestive heart failure or death in people who have had a heart attack.

Reteplase may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about reteplase?

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to reteplase, or if you have a bleeding disorder, a brain tumor or aneurysm, uncontrolled high blood pressure, a history of stroke or blood clots, or recent brain or spinal injury or surgery.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before I receive reteplase?

You should not use reteplase if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • any active bleeding;

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder;

  • a brain tumor, aneurysm, or blood vessel disorder;

  • untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure;

  • a history of stroke or blood clot; or

  • recent spine or brain injury or surgery.

To make sure reteplase is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • eye problems caused by diabetes;

  • an infection of the lining of your heart (also called bacterial endocarditis); or

  • if you have had any recent surgery, injury, or major bleeding.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether reteplase will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether reteplase passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is reteplase given?

Reteplase is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Reteplase is usually given in two injections 30 minutes apart.

This medication can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you have received reteplase.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since reteplase is given only when needed by a healthcare professional, it is not likely that you will miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medication is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid after receiving reteplase?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Reteplase side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregiver right away if you have:

  • sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;

  • chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing;

  • pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;

  • fast, slow, or uneven heart rate;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • weak pulse, fainting, slow breathing (breathing may stop);

  • darkening or purple discoloration of your fingers or toes;

  • red or pink urine;

  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • bleeding from needle punctures (such as from needles used in blood tests or in giving injection) injections; or

  • pale skin, easy bruising, or any bleeding that will not stop.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting; or

  • fever.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Retaplase dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Myocardial Infarction:

10 units administered over 2 minutes as an IV bolus as soon as possible after the onset of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) symptoms, followed 30 minutes later by a second 10 unit IV bolus injection also administered over 2 minutes.

If serious bleeding (not controllable by local pressure) occurs before the administration of the second bolus, terminate any concomitant anticoagulant therapy and do not administer the second reteplase bolus.

Half dose reteplase (5 units) has been used in the GUSTO V trial in combination with abciximab.

What other drugs will affect reteplase?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with reteplase, especially:

  • dipyridamole;

  • omacetaxine; or

  • medication used to prevent blood clots--dabigatran, dalteparin, desirudin, enoxaparin, fondaparinux, tinzaparin, warfarin, Coumadin.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with urokinase, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.