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6. What medications will I be taking and do they have any side effects?

Strokes are most often caused by blood clots, so your doctor will probably prescribe anticoagulant or antiplatelet medication, commonly known as blood thinners, to help prevent future strokes. You may also need to take medications to help lower high blood pressure or high cholesterol, treat a heart condition, or manage diabetes.

Be sure to talk with your doctor about your medications so that you understand why you are taking them. Ask about potential side effects and possible food and medicine interactions. To help you keep track, you or your caregiver should write down the name and dose of all your medications, including when and how to take them.   

7. When should I call my doctor?

Talk with your doctor about what symptoms or situations may indicate a call. However, if you notice any of the following signs of stroke, call 911 immediately. Don't delay -- minutes count when it comes to preventing damage from stroke.

  • sudden numbness, paralysis, or weakness, especially on only one side of your body
  • sudden dizziness, problems with walking, or loss of balance or coordination
  • sudden changes in vision
  • drooling or slurred speech
  • sudden confusion or difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • a sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches or has no known cause 

8. Where can I get support as a stroke survivor?

Getting support from other stroke survivors can help with your recovery. You can contact the American Stroke Association at 800-242-8721 for help in finding a support program in your area or to find out about online support groups. Another resource for finding out about support groups is the National Stroke Association. Their phone number is 800-787-6537.

Recovery Tips

See key ways to help regain the use of your arm after a stroke.
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