What is secondary stroke prevention therapy?

Secondary stroke prevention begins a day or more after a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) occurs, once doctors have fully evaluated the condition of the artery involved and confirmed the exact cause. This treatment phase continues indefinitely after you go home. The goal is to prevent a second stroke from occurring as a result of the same problem that caused the first.

Secondary stroke prevention therapy can involve medications to help prevent future blood clots (oral anticoagulant therapy or antiplatelet therapy), blood pressure medicine, or surgery. In virtually all people, the underlying causes of the stroke -- including high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and diabetes -- must also be treated.

Other recommendations for people who have had an ischemic stroke are to reduce your risk by making such changes as quitting smoking and increasing physical activity.

Doctors may also search for clotting abnormalities in the heart and blood vessels, as well as for a deficiency of vitamin metabolism, which may suggest further preventive therapies for embolic stroke or large-artery atherothrombotic stroke.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.