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Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
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Transient ischemic attack (TIA)

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BRAIN & NERVOUS SYSTEM

Stroke

 

Treatment

Once your doctor has determined the cause of your TIA, the goal of treatment is to correct the abnormality and prevent a stroke. Depending on the cause of your TIA, your doctor may prescribe medication to reduce the tendency for blood to clot, or may recommend surgery or a balloon procedure (angioplasty).

Medications
Doctors use several medications to decrease the likelihood of a stroke after a TIA. The medication selected depends on the location, cause, severity and type of TIA. Two frequently prescribed types of drugs are:

  • Antiplatelet drugs. These medications make your platelets, one of the circulating blood cell types, less likely to stick together. Clot formation is started by sticky platelets when there's an injury to blood vessels. The process is then completed by clotting proteins in blood plasma. The most frequently used antiplatelet medication is aspirin. Aspirin is also the least expensive treatment with the fewest potential side effects. Your doctor may also consider prescribing Aggrenox, a combination of low-dose aspirin and the antiplatelet drug dipyridamole, to reduce blood clotting. The way dipyridamole works differs slightly from aspirin. Another alternative to aspirin is an antiplatelet drug clopidogrel (Plavix), which occasionally is used in combination with aspirin. Ticlopidine (Ticlid) is another antiplatelet medication that doctors occasionally recommend.

  • Anticoagulants. These drugs include heparin and warfarin (Coumadin). They affect clotting system proteins instead of platelet function. Heparin is used short term and warfarin over a longer term. These drugs have a profound anticoagulation effect and therefore require careful monitoring.

Surgery and angioplasty (stenting)
If you have a moderately or severely narrowed neck (carotid) artery, your doctor may suggest carotid endarterectomy. This preventive surgery clears carotid arteries of fatty deposits (atherosclerotic plaques) before another TIA or stroke can occur. An incision is made to open the artery, the plaques are removed, and the artery is closed.

In selective cases, a procedure called carotid angioplasty, or stenting, is an option. This procedure involves using a balloon-like device to open a clogged artery and placing a small wire tube (stent) into the artery to keep it open.

Transient ischemic attack > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/15/08 02:29 AM