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Stroke Treatment

Medications Used for Treating a Stroke

In addition to treatments to restore blood flow in people who have suffered an ischemic stroke, healthcare providers may use other medications or therapies as part of stroke treatment to reduce complications or the chances of another stroke. Some of these medicines can include:
  • Anticoagulants
  • Antiplatelets.
Anticoagulants reduce the risk of another stroke by decreasing the ability for blood to clot and also prevent existing clots from growing. These drugs are particularly useful in preventing the formation of clots in people with atrial fibrillation. The most commonly used anticoagulants for stroke treatment include warfarin (Coumadin®), heparin, and enoxaparin (Lovenox®).
Antiplatelet drugs prevent clotting by decreasing the activity of platelets, which are blood cells that help blood clot. By reducing the risk of blood clots, these drugs lower the risk of ischemic stroke. In the case of stroke treatment, doctors prescribe antiplatelet drugs mainly for prevention of another stroke. The most widely known and used antiplatelet drug is aspirin. Other antiplatelet drugs include:
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix®)
  • Ticlopidine (Ticlid®)
  • Dipyridamole (Persantine®)
  • Aspirin and dipyridamole (Aggrenox®).

The Hospital Stay

The length of your hospital stay after a stroke depends on factors such as:
  • Your condition
  • Your response to the stroke treatment
  • Tests doctors recommend to find the stroke cause (see Stroke Tests).
Most people spend several days in the hospital after a stroke. While in the hospital, healthcare providers will monitor your condition, and you will receive treatment for any complications that may arise.
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