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Actilyse (alteplase) Recommended by National Institute for Health,and Clinical Excellence for Treatment of Acute Ischaemic Stroke

have suffered an acute ischaemic stroke. This is important since acute ischaemic stroke is responsible for considerable disability and mortality worldwide and we hope that this recommendation from NICE will allow more patients with qualifying stroke in the UK to benefit from treatment with Actilyse®.”

In reaching their decision, NICE also found that the use of alteplase with best supportive care is cost effective when compared with placebo and best supportive care.1 The Nice appraisal recommends that alteplase should be used by physicians trained and experienced in the management of acute stroke and only in centres with facilities that enable it to be used in full accordance with its marketing authorisation.

While the NICE appraisal emphasises the importance of using alteplase only within 3 hours after the onset of stroke symptoms, the European Cooperative Acute Stroke Study (ECASS) III,3 in accordance with the marketing authorisation evaluates the potential efficacy and safety of using Actilyse® within a time-window of 3 to 4.5 hours in patients with acute ischaemic stroke. Results of the ongoing ECASS III trial are expected in 2008.

Notes to Editor

About Actilyse®
Stroke is a neurological emergency that can affect a specific area, or sometimes all of the brain. It can be caused by a burst blood vessel (haemorrhagic stroke) or occur when a vessel is obstructed by a blood clot (ischaemic stroke). Actilyse® (alteplase) is the first and only treatment available for acute ischaemic stroke recommended by international guidelines as a first-line treatment.4,5,6 Actilyse® is a clot-busting drug, which is injected directly into a vein. In line with the Actilyse® label, patients need to receive the medication within three hours of the onset of their stroke symptoms. Randomised placebo-controlled studies have shown that thrombolysis with Actilyse®, administered within three hours of the onset of symptoms of
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