I have been lead to believe that within minutes or hrs after someone is given TPA, there should be instant improvement in their condition/symptoms. Is this accurate?

Here is what the National Stroke Association's website had to say:

"a five-year trial, conducted by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) found that carefully selected stroke patients who received Activase within three hours of the beginning of stroke symptoms were at least 33 percent more likely than patients given a placebo to recover from their stroke with little or no disability after three months."

Three months? So what does that mean? That the success of the drug can be seen in minutes or hrs after the stroke BUT also 3 months later??

I read another news article where they say:

"The articles always seem to include an anecdote where some one gets tpA and jumps off the table instantly cured. This is not supported by the literature where the gains are actually small functional improvements down the road.

Can someone relay to me their knowledge and experience about TPA?
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replied August 1st, 2011
Especially eHealthy
irishguy2011,

If tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) can be given to a patient before a clot has time to destroy brain tissue, then the patient may recover. While it does help in some patients, it is not a miracle drug.

In the NINDS study, they are saying that patients who received the Activase (if given within 3 hours of the ONSET of stroke symptoms - which is very important), they were 33% more likely to have minimal or do disability when evaluated at three months after their stroke.

It does not mean that these patients will necessarily be better in minutes, but they may gradually get better over those months. And, they really only have a 33% better chance than someone who did not get the medicine.


The second article just states that there are stories of patients jumping up after administration of tPA, but that is not supported by research and studies (IE they are probably exaggerated). Usually, patients get a little better over time.


Again, this is not a cure or a miracle drug. If given to the proper patient, at the correct time, then maybe, they will do progressively a little better as time passes.
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replied October 9th, 2011
My wife had a stroke 9/3/2011(49 years old, non-smoker, great health, worked out regularly). She was with her girlfriends for girls-weekend and they noticed she did not get up Saturday morning and when they approached her immediately recognized she was having a stroke so called 911 (emergency) then called me, I was 2 hours away. I jumped in the car and started driving.
While on my way the ER nurse called my cell and requested permission to administer tPA directly on the clot they found on my wife's brain...tough decision to make while driving to the hospital but the benefit out-weighed the risks. It was the right decision.
My wife is rehabilitating well. While she still has problems with her right side and speech, she can walk and talk for the most part. When I saw her in the emergency room right before the procedure she couldn't talk or move her right side. tPA was administered quickly enough although with a very risky direct drip on the clot in her brain. I don't regret the decision.
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