Transient Ischemic Attack Treatment

Call 911 if the person has any of the following symptoms :

  • 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.
  • If the person is having a stroke instead of a transient ischemic attack (TIA), there is a medicine that may reduce long-term effects if given within four and a half hours of the first symptom appearing. Sooner is 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

  • A doctor will examine the person and run tests to confirm TIA. Tests may include an MRI or a CT scan.
  • Treatment may include medication, lifestyle changes, and possibly surgery to reduce the risk of stroke.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on November 27, 2015



American Stroke Association: "TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack)."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "NINDS Transient Ischemic Attack Information Page."

Cedars-Sinai: "Transient Ischemic Attack."

Solenski, N. American Family Physician, April 1, 2004.

Transient Ischemic Attack Information from eMedicineHealth.

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