Reopro (abciximab) is a drug normally used to prevent blood clot formation in people having angioplasty. The discovery about the medicine's new possibilities was presented Feb. 15 at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in Phoenix.
In the study, doctors gave ReoPro to stroke patients as long as six hours after the onset of stroke.
Currently, the only approved medical therapy available for stroke patients in the United States has to be administered no later than three hours after the onset of stroke. It's estimated that at least 90 percent of people with stroke don't reach a hospital in time to receive that therapy.
This is the first trial to test an intravenous drug that shows a clinical benefit for acute stroke patients up to six hours after the onset of stroke.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. It killed 167,661 people in 2000, says the American Stroke Association.
Here's where you can learn more about stroke.