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Thrombolytics for Deep Vein Thrombosis

Topic Overview

Thrombolytics are medicines that rapidly dissolve a blood clot. They might be used to treat deep vein thrombosis if it is causing severe symptoms.

These medicines are used in the hospital. They are given through a vein in the hand or arm. Or a doctor might use a special tube called a catheter and give the medicine directly into the blood clot.

These medicines can greatly increase the risk of bleeding, so they are used only in very specific situations where the risk of bleeding can be balanced against the risks of not dissolving the blood clot rapidly. Thrombolytics may reduce the incidence of post-thrombotic syndrome in people who are at high risk for this condition.

Related Information

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Guyatt GH, et al. (2012). Executive summary: Antithrombotic therapy and prevention of thrombosis, 9th ed.—American College of Chest Physicians evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest, 141(2)(Suppl): 7S–47S.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Jeffrey S. Ginsberg, MD - Hematology
Last Revised May 8, 2012

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