What is Tirofiban?

Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 04 May 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Tirofiban is an anticoagulant medication a doctor may prescribe for a patient with unstable angina or certain other conditions to prevent blood clots. The patient may take other medications concurrently to manage the condition, depending on the situation and the treatment plan. This drug is sold in the form of an injectable solution, usually given to a patient in a clinic or hospital. Some patients may take the medication at home after receiving instructions from a nurse or doctor.

This medication is a platelet aggregation inhibitor. It prevents platelets from sticking together to form clots. In patients with unstable angina, clots can become a serious health risk, as they may occlude blood flow to the heart and cause a heart attack. Tirofiban acts very quickly and has a relatively short duration of action, allowing blood chemistry to return to normal within eight hours of the patient's last dose.

Patients on this medication can experience heavy sweating, headaches, dizziness and leg pain. If these symptoms persist or grow worse, the patient should talk to a doctor. More serious tirofiban side effects can include vomiting or defecating blood, a sign of internal bleeding, along with heavy bleeding and bruising, particularly in the joints. While taking this medication, the blood clots more slowly and patients are at risk of injuries caused by excessive bleeding. The patient may need to avoid certain activities to limit the chances of bruising.

Patients with a history of blood disorders may not be good candidates for tirofiban therapy. This medication interacts negatively with other platelet aggregation inhibitors, and patients who are taking anticoagulants should discuss them with a doctor before adding more medications or changing the drug regimen. Anticoagulant use can also put surgical patients, pregnant women, and other people at increased risk; patients should make sure their doctors know they are on anticoagulants before any medical procedures, as it may be necessary to temporarily stop the medication or take other safety precautions.

While a patient takes tirofiban, the doctor may request periodic follow up visits to see how well the patient responds to the medication and to check for dangerous changes in blood chemistry or general health. During these visits, patients should report any side effects they experience so the doctor can determine if the patient's drug regimen needs adjustment. It may be necessary to change drugs, modify dosages, or alter the treatment plan to address changes in the patient's condition.


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