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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.

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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 blocked, you may need surgery to reopen the narrowed arteries (carotid endarterectomy).

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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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