Stroke Treatment

Medically Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on June 03, 2022

Call 911 if the person has:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or legs -- especially on just one side of the body
  • Slurred or unusual speech
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, or balance problems
  • Sudden confusion
  • Severe headache

1. Note Time When Symptoms First Appeared

  • Tell emergency personnel the exact time when you first noticed symptoms.
  • Depending on the type of stroke, there is a medicine that may reduce long-term effects if given within four and a half hours of when the first symptom appears. The earlier, the better. 
  • If the person is diabetic, check the blood glucose (sugar) level. Treat low glucose with a glucose tablet, glass of orange juice or other sugary drink or food, or a glucagon injection (if the person is not able to swallow).

2. Follow Up

  • At the hospital, a doctor will examine the person and run tests to confirm the diagnosis and to see if the stroke was caused by clots or from bleeding in the brain. Tests may include an MRI or a CT scan.
  • Treatment may include medication, lifestyle changes, and possibly surgery.

Show Sources


National Stroke Association.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "What You Need to Know About Stroke."

Cedars-Sinai: "Stroke."

NYU Comprehensive Stroke Care Center: "Medications for Stroke;" "Stroke Treatment;" and "Stroke Signs and Symptoms."

Stroke Information from eMedicineHealth.

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