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


09 Dec 2014 Recent studies of fish oil supplements have found that 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 This free case study on oral anticoagulants and stroke prevention is for GPs, pharmacists, nurses and students.
For health professionals (Health professional publication)
25 Mar 2014 Is the risk of haemorrhagic stroke increased in people taking statins? Are statins are suitable for people with a history of haemorrhagic stroke? What is the evidence around statin use and haemorrhagic stroke?
(Media release)
14 Feb 2014 NPS MedicineWise is reminding health professionals that while various media reports have recently linked statins to a variety of adverse events and questioned their efficacy, these drugs remain one of the most effective strategies for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
(Media release)
14 Feb 2014 NPS MedicineWise is reminding health professionals and the general public that the cholesterol-lowing medicines statins remain one of the most effective strategies for reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
14 Jan 2014 Blood pressure is measured by a sphygmomanometer. A specialised cuff wraps around your upper arm and connects to a device for measuring and recording blood pressure. For most adults, normal blood pressure is regarded as 120/80 mm Hg (120 over 80) or less.
14 Jan 2014 Making positive changes to your diet and lifestyle can help to lower your blood pressure. Your doctor may also prescribe blood pressure-lowering medicines.