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Small blood vessels called coronary arteries supply blood and oxygen to the heart.
Some people may be given drugs to break up the clot if the artery is completely blocked. These drugs are called thrombolytics, or clot-busting drugs.
The main risk when receiving clot-busting drugs is bleeding, especially bleeding in the brain.
Thrombolytic therapy is not safe for people who have:
Other treatments to open blocked or narrowed vessels that may be done in place of or along with thrombolytic therapy include:
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Anderson JL, Adams CD, Antman EM, Bridges CR, Califf RM, Casey DE Jr, et al. ACC/AHA 2007 guidelines for the management of patients with unstable angina/non-ST-Elevation myocardial infarction: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Revise the 2002 Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Unstable Angina/Non-ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction) developed in collaboration with the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons endorsed by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007;50(7):e1-e157.
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