Medicines for treating stroke

Medicines for treating a stroke are different from those used to prevent stroke.

If you have an ischaemic stroke, you may be given a medicine that can break down (dissolve) the blood clots.

Anticoagulant medicines are used to prevent a stoke. They work by preventing blood clots from forming.

If you have a stroke and arrive at the hospital quickly enough (within 4.5 hours), you may be treated with a medicine called tPA (tissue Plasminogen Activator). You may be given aspirin whether or not you have been given tPA after a stroke.

Neither tPA or aspirin is recommended if you’ve had a stroke caused by a burst blood vessel (haemorrhagic stroke). It is therefore very important that a hospital diagnoses your stroke, and you don’t self-treat with aspirin or any other medicine unless a doctor has given it to you.

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