Drug Action: How Thrombolytic Drugs Work

Thrombolytic drugs are used to dissolve unwanted blood clots, known as thrombi. A blood clot consists of blood cells and platelets that are held together by a mesh of fibrin strands. Thrombolytics dissolve the fibrin strands, thereby breaking up the blood clot.

Before drug

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.

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.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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