Streptokinase (SK) is an enzyme secreted by some streptococci and has a role to play in breaking down red blood cells. It is an effective and a rather inexpensive way of treating blood clots and inflammation and has been proved quite useful in the treatment of pulmonary embolism and myocardial infraction. Streptokinase basically belongs to a group of medication called fibrinolytic and works by activating human plasminogen.
There are three basic domains to streptokinase, including γ (residues 288–414), β (residues 151–287), and α (residues 1–150). These domains can bind plasminogen, but they cannot activate it on their own. If you're interested in using Streptokinase, it is important that you get Streptokinase dosage information first and know the risks and benefits of taking this medicine. Keep reading to learn when to use streptokinase and how much streptokinase dose to start with.
When to Use Streptokinase
Sometimes, blood clots form in your blood vessels due to different medical conditions. Your healthcare provider may consider making use of streptokinase to dissolve those clots. They may also prescribe it immediately after noticing any symptoms of a heart attack. The medicine has also been proved effective in treating blood clots in the legs and in the lungs as well. This is a prescription medicine and it is important to pay attention to streptokinase dosage requirement to avoid dealing with any side effects.
How to Use Streptokinase
For Acute Evolving Transmural MI
It is important for adults to have IV infusion of streptokinase administered within the first hours of noticing symptoms, but it may still be beneficial when taking within the first 24 hours. It is important to infuse a total dose of 1,500,000 units within the first hour. For intracoronary infusion, it is important to administer 140,000 IU in total with 20,000 IU by bolus after which it is important to administer 2,000 IU/min. for 60 min.
For Embolism, Pulmonary Embolism, Arterial Thrombosis, or Deep Vein Thrombosis
It is important to administer the dose of streptokinase as soon as possible after the thrombotic event – it's better to administer streptokinase within 7 days of the event. It is worth mentioning that human exposure to streptococci is quite common, so you may already have antibodies to streptokinase. It is, therefore, important select a loading dose to neutralize any antibodies. About 90% of patients respond well to a dose of 250, 000 IU when infused into a peripheral vein over half an hour.
For pulmonary embolism, the dosage requirement is 100, 000 units/h for 24 hours. For deep vein therapy, the right dosage is 100, 000 units/h for 72 hours. For embolism or arterial thrombosis, most patients have to take 100, 000 units/h for 24 hours.
For Arteriovenous Cannulae Occlusion
It is important to instill solution into occluded limb of the cannuala as slowly as possible. The dosage in this case is 250, 000 in 2ml of solution. It is important to clamp off all the cannula limbs for about a couple of hours to look for any adverse effects. It is necessary to flush cannula limbs after treatment before reconnecting.
What Are the Possible Side Effects of Streptokinase?
Not paying attention to proper streptokinase dosage requirement will cause some unwanted effects. You may not notice all of the following side effects, but some may affect you while taking this treatment option. Talk with your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following effects after taking streptokinase.
The more common side effects include confusion, fever, blurred vision, unusual tiredness, sweating, dizziness and lightheadedness.
Some of the less common side effects are blood in urine, blood in stool, unusual bruising, nose bleeds, vomiting blood and purple spots on skin.
Some of the rare and more serious side effects are black stools, abdominal pain, cloudy urine, itching or burning of skin, constipation, dizziness, difficulty swallowing and breathing, feeling of warmth, headaches, weak pulse, nausea, muscle pain, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, noisy breathing and wheezing. You may also have to deal with hives, or large hive-like swelling on eyelids, face, tongue feet, throat, and sex organs.
More Things That Should Be Known before Using Streptokinase
You should inform your doctor if you already have a pre-existing medical condition, such as bleeding disorders, endocarditis, hypertension or any allergies. Also, tell your doctor about any recent surgery or biopsy you've had in the recent past. Take special care about not being injured while using this medicine because it may cause excessive bleeding. You should only use it in pregnancy if it is really needed, and don't forget to discuss all the risks of taking streptokinase during pregnancy or while breastfeeding your newborn baby.
Streptokinase may interact with some of the medicines you may already be using. You should inform your doctor about any prescription or over-the-counter medication you're taking. Basically, streptokinase may interact with NSAIDs, such as naproxen and ibuprofen; blood thinners, such as warfarin; and aspirin. Some drugs like aprotinin, aminocaproic acid and tranexamic acid may reverse the effects of Streptokinase. Be sure to tell your doctor about all these medications and never start or stop one without the consultation of your doctor.