Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) - Treatment Overview

Getting help for a TIA

If you have symptoms of a transient ischemic attack (TIA), get medical help right away.

If you had symptoms of a TIA but you feel better now, you still need to see a doctor right away. A TIA is a sign that a stroke may soon follow. Prompt medical treatment may prevent a stroke.

Treatment for a TIA

If you've had a TIA, you may need further testing and treatment after you've been checked by your doctor. If you have a high risk of stroke, you may have to stay in the hospital for treatment.

Your treatment for a TIA may include taking medicines to prevent a stroke or having surgery to reopen narrow arteries.

Medicines may include aspirin, clopidogrel, dipyridamole with aspirin, or warfarin.

If your carotid arteries are significantly narrowed, you may need a procedure to widen the arteries. This may prevent another TIA or a stroke.

Preventing another TIA or stroke

Your treatment will also focus on preventing another TIA or stroke. This may include:

  • Reducing high blood pressure, the most common risk factor for stroke, by making changes to your diet and taking medicines that lower blood pressure.
  • Taking aspirin or another antiplatelet medicine to prevent strokes. For more information, see Medications.
  • Controlling diabetes. Your doctor will advise that you try to keep your blood sugar levels in a target range. To do this, you may need to take oral medicines or insulin. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise will also help.

You may also need to make lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, eating heart-healthy foods, and being more active. For more information, see Prevention.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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