Find reliable independent health and treatment information about stroke written by Australian experts. This includes resources for consumers and health professionals.

About stroke

A stroke happens when the blood flow to the brain is stopped, causing brain cells to die.

Strokes are a medical emergency, as they can lead to permanent damage to parts of the brain, loss of functions such as speech, or cause death.

If you have been told you are at risk of stroke, it’s important to be aware of the main symptoms of stroke.

Transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs or mini-strokes) have the same underlying causes as stroke – an interruption in blood flow to the brain. TIA symptoms are shorter-lived than a stroke, however they can be a warning sign of stroke and need to be treated.

If you are at high risk of a stroke caused by a blood clot (ischaemic stroke), then preventing stroke is important. You may be given an anti-clotting medicine such as warfarin (an anticoagulant) or aspirin (an antiplatelet medicine) to lower your risk of blood clots forming.

There are several risk factors for stroke, many of which can be reduced with either medicines or lifestyle changes. Find out what else you can do to prevent a stroke.

Find out more

For health professionals  

Patients who are at high risk of ischeamic stroke should be given either an antiplatelet or an anticoagulant as primary (or secondary) prevention. For most patients the need to reduce the risk of stroke will outweigh the risk of bleeding. Those who are at risk of bleeding should have their risk factors addressed.

Our CPD activities

Consolidate your knowledge on stroke, brush-up on current guidelines and practices and earn CPD points through our learning activities.

For your patients

Use the following tools and resources especially designed for use in your consultations with patients.

Other tools and resources

Latest information - stroke


25 Feb 2015 High blood pressure increases your chances of stroke, heart and kidney disease. Read more about complications of high blood pressure (hypertension).
25 Feb 2015 High blood pressure (hypertension) is determined by individual circumstances and cardiovascular disease risk. Find a guide to blood pressure ranges and learn more.
For health professionals (Condition)
25 Feb 2015 Blood pressure measurement is used in diagnosis and management of high blood pressure (hypertension). Learn about in-clinic and out-of-clinic readings.
For health professionals (Condition)
25 Feb 2015 High blood pressure (hypertension) is an important cardiovascular disease risk factor. Learn more about our blood pressure program and key messages for health professionals.
For health professionals (Condition)
25 Feb 2015 Absolute cardiovascular risk can guide management of high blood pressure (hypertension). Learn more about CVD risk assessment in clinical practice.
09 Dec 2014 Recent studies of fish oil supplements have found it's unlikely they help reduce heart attacks or strokes in people who already have cardiovascular problems.
(Consumer publication)
11 Aug 2014 Stopping dabigatran suddenly is dangerous, and could put you at risk of blood clots, leading to a stroke. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits in your particular situation before making any decision about stopping dabigatran.
For health professionals (Health professional publication)
11 Aug 2014 Data suggesting variation in plasma concentration of dabigatran (Pradaxa) affects clinical outcomes contradicts key marketing claims. These data imply that, like warfarin, close monitoring would optimise dabigatran treatment. Does this change practice?
(Media release)
06 Aug 2014 With anticoagulant medicine dabigatran (brand name Pradaxa) in the news this week following reports that safety information about the medicine had been withheld by the manufacturer, NPS MedicineWise is reminding people not to stop taking it without talking to their doctor.
For health professionals (CPD activity)
23 May 2014 Jenny Adams is a 76 year old recently diagnosed with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Jenny has come to you to discuss her risk of stroke and the pros and cons of oral anticoagulant treatment. How would you calculate Jenny�s estimated stroke risk? Which anticoagulant would you recommend for Jenny? What are the advantages and disadvantages of warfarin and the newer oral anticoagulants? If Jenny needs to switch anticoagulants at a later stage, how would you achieve this safely?