Stroke patients who reach the hospital within one hour of symptoms receive a clot-busing drug twice as often as those arriving later. The European Cooperative Acute Stroke Study (ECASS 3) suggested that Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) was safe and effective up to 4 .5 hours of symptom onset for some patients, but the current reasearch reinforces the importance of quick action among patients and physicians.
Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is a thrombolytic agent (clot-busting drug). It’s approved for use in certain patients having a heart attack or stroke. The drug can dissolve blood clots, which cause most heart attacks and strokes. tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the acute (urgent) treatment of ischemic stroke.