thrombolytic drugs

Blood clot within a blood vessel

Blood clot. A clot, made up of red and white blood cells and platelets, bound together by strands of fibrin, has formed in a blood vessel, restricting blood flow.

Thrombolytic drug in action

After drug. The thrombolytic drug dissolves the fibrin strands that bind the blood clot together. The clot is broken down and normal blood flow resumes.

Thrombolytic drugs, sometimes called fibrinolytic drugs, are a group of drugs used to treat acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), and thrombosis and embolism in which a blood vessel is blocked by a blood clot. Thrombolytic drugs act within blood vessels to dissolve clots. They are administered intravenously and must be given as soon as possible after a clot has formed to be effective. Possible side effects include abnormal bleeding and allergic reaction.