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Treatments and Procedures

Treatment for a stroke or TIA depends upon the patient and the prescribed course of action from a stroke specialist. Your stroke team will take steps to stop your stroke. Immediate treatment is needed to:

  • Dissolve a clot causing an ischemic stroke
  • Stop the bleeding during a hemorrhagic stroke

Other treatment aims to:

  • Reduce the chance of later strokes
  • Improve functioning
  • Overcome disabilities

Medications your doctor may prescribe include:

  • Clot-dissolving drugs: given shortly after the start of symptoms; typically given within 3 hours by IV or intra-arterially (IA) within 6 hours only for carefully selected patients
  • Blood-thinning drugs (anticoagulants)
  • Antiplatelet drugs

Other drugs are used to:

  • Control blood pressure (labetalol, the first-line drug, or sodium nitroprusside)
  • Reduce the chance of additional clot formation (aspirin or similar medication)
  • Reduce brain swelling
  • Correct irregular heart rhythm (e.g., atrial fibrillation)

Other interventions during an acute stroke:

  • Adequate oxygen
  • Precautions to prevent choking
  • Frequent neurological examinations