Treatment for a stroke

Strokes can be very serious so it is always important to get emergency medical help even if you feel the symptoms may be wearing off. Once you have been admitted to hospital there are a number of treatments that may be used to treat your condition and try to reduce the likelihood of you suffering another stroke.

  • Ischaemic strokes are usually treated with medication that is designed to break down blood clots; this medication is known as alteplase. Alteplase is highly effective but it can only be used on patients within 3 hours of them having a stroke. Additional treatments include medication to prevent clotting, known as anticoagulants, and medication to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. If the stroke has been caused by a blood clot in the carotid artery, which is located in the neck, surgery may be required to open up the artery and remove the fatty deposits that are making it difficult for blood to flow easily.
  • Haemorrhagic strokes usually require an emergency surgical treatment known as a craniotomy; surgery is used to repair damaged blood vessels, ensure there are no additional clots and drain blood from the brain. Often, patients that have undergone this procedure will be taken to intensive care and put on a ventilator; their condition will be monitored closely. Medications to control blood pressure and help to reduce the risk of suffering another stroke will also usually be prescribed.
  • TIA: a TIA is often a precursor to a full stroke so it is important to seek medical help. Treatment for a TIA usually involves identifying the cause of the mini stroke and prescribing medication to control this; commonly, this involves prescribing medication to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Guide to Stroke

Stroke Intro

Coping after stroke

Effects of stroke

Preventing a stroke

Recovering from a stroke

Symptoms of stroke

Transient ischaemic attack (TIA)

Treatment for stroke