What medications are given for stroke?

Please note that there are two types of stroke, as you can learn here. The information here applies to the kind of stroke caused by obstruction of a blood vessel. In medical terms, this is called an “Infarct”.

The following medications are given for patients with an infarct:

  1. Blood thinners: Almost all patients with ischemic stroke are put on a medication to decrease the clotting ability of their blood. Many blood thinners are available: Aspirin, Clopidogrel and dipyridamole are the common ones, Aspirin is used most commonly because it is cheap and just as good as the other more expensive medications. If your blood is excessively thick, or you have a heart disease that causes blood clots to form repeatedly in your heart (such as “Atrial Fibrillation”) then you may need even stronger blood thinners. Again, numerous medications are available, but the most commonly used medication is “Warfarin”, which is also called “Coumadin”.
  2. Cholesterol medications: Many medications are available to reduce high cholesterol. Most patients who have a stroke should take cholesterol medications whose name ends with “statin”, because these have been shown to be most effective in preventing another stroke. Commonly used medications are Atrovastatin, Rosuvastatin etc…
  3. Diabetes: If there is too much sugar in your blood, you are said to have “Diabetes”. There are many oral medications to reduce blood sugar, and any of these medications is fine after a stroke. Some people may need to take insulin injections if their blood sugar is not controlled by oral medications.
  4. Blood pressure medications: There are many medications to lower blood pressure (e.g. hydrochlorthiazine, furosemide etc) and any of these are fine as long as they properly control your blood pressure.