Transient Ischemic Attack Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar, MD on January 24, 2020

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



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.

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Click to view privacy policy and trust info