Your doctor will probably prescribe
several medicines after you have had a
transient ischemic attack (TIA). Medicines to prevent
blood clots are typically used, because blood clots can cause TIAs and
The types of medicines that
prevent clotting are:
- Anticoagulant medicines.
Cholesterol-lowering and blood pressure-lowering medicines
are also used to prevent TIAs and strokes.
Antiplatelets (such as aspirin, aspirin with
extended-release dipyridamole, or clopidogrel) keep
platelets in the blood from sticking together.
- Aspirin is most often used to prevent TIAs
and strokes. Many studies have shown that aspirin helps prevent strokes and
reduces the risk of another TIA in people who have had their first
- Other antiplatelet medicines (such as clopidogrel) may be used
for people who cannot take aspirin or for whom aspirin has not been effective.
- Aggrenox, a medicine that combines aspirin with dipyridamole,
is a safe and effective alternative to aspirin to prevent TIA and stroke for
Anticoagulants prevent the
production of certain proteins that are needed for blood to clot. If you have
atrial fibrillation, you will probably take an
anticoagulant (such as warfarin). Anticoagulants are
more effective than antiplatelets in preventing strokes in people with atrial
Both anticoagulants and
antiplatelets increase the risk of bleeding. Warfarin (such as Coumadin) has
the highest risk of bleeding problems, but the risk is lower when the dosage is
If you take warfarin, don't suddenly change
your intake of foods that are rich in vitamin K. Vitamin K can interfere with
the action of anticoagulants, making it more likely that your blood will clot.
For more information, see:
- Anticoagulants: Vitamin K and your diet.
that most people who have had a TIA take
statins, which lower cholesterol. Many studies show
that statins significantly 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.5 For more information on
these medicines, see the topic
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