AHA Logo Clot-busting drugs are known as thrombolytics and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) reportedly is the only FDA-approved thrombolytic for treating acute ischemic stroke. According to a novel investigation, the use of clot-busting drugs to treat acute ischemic stroke has increased from 2005 through 2009. Yet the employment of this medication in the health section appears low.

After scrutinizing Medicare records and pharmacy billing codes, it was pointed out that 1.1 percent to 1.4 percent of acute ischemic stroke patients seemingly took a thrombolytic drug in 2005. This medication was supposedly provided to 3.4 percent – 3.7 percent stroke patients in 2009. During a further calculation, Opeolu Adeoye, M.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor of emergency medicine and neurosurgery at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio and colleagues assumed that some or all of the billings for unapproved thrombolytics and/or treating hemorrhagic stroke were billing errors.

Also some incidences may have represented an ischemic stroke that subsequently developed some bleeding. On considering all these factors, it was concluded that the use of tPA rose by 3.4 percent to 5.2 percent or 23,800 to 36,000 of the 700,000 Americans who had an ischemic stroke in 2009.

The research is published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.