Cardiac Rehabilitation

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Alteplase Solution for injection

What is this medicine?

ALTEPLASE (AL te plase) can dissolve blood clots that form in the heart, blood vessels, or lungs after a heart attack. This medicine is also given to improve recovery and decrease the chance of disability in patients having symptoms of a stroke.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • aneurysm

  • bleeding problems or problems with blood clotting

  • blood vessel disease or damaged blood vessels

  • diabetic retinopathy

  • head injury or tumor

  • high blood pressure

  • infection

  • irregular heartbeats

  • previous stroke

  • recent biopsy or surgery

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to alteplase, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for injection into a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • aminocaproic acid

  • aprotinin

  • tranexamic acid

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • antiinflammatory drugs, NSAIDs like ibuprofen

  • aspirin and aspirin-like medicines

  • blood thinners, like warfarin, heparin or enoxaparin

  • dipyridamole

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine. Follow the advice of your doctor or health care professional exactly. You may need bed rest to minimize the risk of bleeding.

This medicine can make you bleed more easily. This effect can last for several days. Take special care brushing or flossing your teeth.

Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or other nonprescription pain relievers during or for several days after alteplase treatment unless otherwise instructed by your doctor or health care professional.

You may feel dizzy or lightheaded. To avoid the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, sit or stand up slowly, especially if you are an older patient.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • signs and symptoms of bleeding such as bloody or black, tarry stools; red or dark-brown urine; spitting up blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds; red spots on the skin; unusual bruising or bleeding from the eye, gums, or nose

  • signs and symptoms of a stroke such as changes in vision; confusion; trouble speaking or understanding; severe headaches; sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg; trouble walking; dizziness; loss of balance or coordination

  • slow or fast heart rate

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • dizziness

  • fever

  • nausea, vomiting

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medicine?

This does not apply. You will not be given this medicine to store at home.

What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program of exercise, education, counseling and training that helps patients with heart disease achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The Cardiac Rehabilitation Phase 2 program at the Wellness Center includes three 60-minute sessions per week and usually lasts for 12 weeks depending on insurance or the physician's prescription. A Phase 3 cardiac rehabilitation program is now available.

Candidates for cardiac rehabilitation

Patients with stable coronary heart disease are suitable candidates for this program. This includes patients diagnosed with:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Stable angina
  • Heart attack
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Angioplasty or stent placement
  • Heart surgery (coronary artery bypass grafting, valve surgery)
  • Heart Transplant

Phase 2 Cardiac Rehabilitation program

Phase 2 Cardiac Rehab  participants are usually referred by their cardiologist or primary care physician. Exercise sessions are monitored through telemetry (ECG) monitors and begin with an appropriate individualized exercise level that will gradually progress in duration and intensity.

Blood pressure, heart rate and signs and symptoms are all monitored before and during each session by our team of specialists. During this phase, participants enjoy a personalized exercise program tailored to achieve their specific fitness goals, using state of the art equipment. Upon completion of the program, patients are ready and able to continue their home exercise program or join the maintenance program at The Wellness Center.

Phase 3 Cardiac Rehabilitation program

Phase 3 cardiac rehabilitation is another option for a hospital-based cardiac rehab. The patient will take part in a closely supervised non-EKG-monitored exercise program.  Patients will have the opportunity to learn about lifestyle changes, risk factor reduction via educational classes, nutrition, and cardio and strength exercise. Trained wellness center staff will monitors patients’ blood pressure, oxygen levels, heart rate and perceived exertion levels. 

* A patient may begin the phase 3 program only after receiving physician’s approval. This program is $10 per session and is not covered by insurance. For more information, please call 954-355-4861.

Educational component

Through biweekly classes, patients gain a better understanding of heart disease and the importance of lifestyle management. Taught by a team of cardiac health experts, topics include:

  • Cardiovascular risk factors
  • Angina and latest treatments
  • Weight loss
  • Benefits of exercise
  • Stress management
  • Food label reading
  • Heart healthy lifestyle changes
  • Coronary disease

Benefits of a hospital-based program

Our hospital setting provides a highly specialized program in a safe environment. The cardiac rehabilitation program is conducted by a team of highly trained specialist and includes:

  • Cardiologists
  • Nurses
  • Exercise physiologists
  • Dietitians
  • Psychologists

How does exercise help?

Exercise plays a significant role in reducing heart disease. A major part of cardiac rehabilitation consists of safe, personalized exercise therapy monitored by our trained professionals. Exercise sessions take place at The Wellness Center where patients have access to a wide range of the latest exercise equipment and a diverse class schedule, including a variety of aerobics, strength training, yoga, tai chi, and Pilates.

Cardiovascular exercise will help:

  • Reduce heart rate and blood pressure
  • Improve stamina and muscle tone
  • Increase the heart's efficiency
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Control body weight
  • Improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Improve self-confidence and overall sense of well-being

Getting started

Most insurance companies reimburse for cardiac rehabilitation. A prescription and insurance verification is required prior to starting the program.

If you are interested in our cardiac rehabilitation program and would like more information, please contact the Wellness Center at Broward Health Medical Center at 954-712-4275.

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