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Stroke (cont.)

Medications

Your doctor will probably prescribe several medicines after you have had a stroke. Medicines to prevent blood clots are typically used, because blood clots can cause TIAs and strokes.

The types of medicines that prevent clotting are:

  • Antiplatelet medicines.
  • Anticoagulant medicines.

Cholesterol-lowering and blood-pressure–lowering medicines are also used to prevent TIAs and strokes.

Antiplatelet medicines

Antiplatelet medicines keep platelets in the blood from sticking together.

  • Aspirin (for example, Bayer) is most often used to prevent TIAs and strokes.
  • Aspirin combined with dipyridamole (Aggrenox) is a safe and effective alternative to aspirin.
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix) may be used for people who cannot take aspirin.

Anticoagulants

Anticoagulants prevent blood clots from forming and keep existing blood clots from getting bigger. If you have atrial fibrillation, you will probably take an anticoagulant such as warfarin (for example, Coumadin). For more information, see the topic Atrial Fibrillation.

Statins

Statins lower cholesterol and can greatly reduce the risk of stroke in people who have had a TIA. Statins even protect against stroke in people who do not have heart disease or high cholesterol.2

Blood pressure medicines

If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may want you to take medicines to lower it. Blood pressure medicines include:

Other medicines

Medicines used to treat depression and pain may also be prescribed after a stroke.

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