TPA & Medication

Meet the Team

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Depending on the type of stroke, a physician may prescribe the one or more of the medications below that are commonly used to treat and prevent future strokes.

TPA

The main treatment for ischemic strokes is a “clot-busting” drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). It works to open the blockage and get oxygen back to the brain. tPA must be given within the initial three to four hours following the onset of stroke symptoms. This is why it is important to keep track of symptoms and note the last time the patient was acting normally. 

Other Medications May Include:

Aspirin

  • Stops platelets, the glue of blood clots, from getting sticky and clumping, helping prevent strokes long term

Clopidogrel (Plavix)

  • Clopidogrel stops platelets from getting sticky and clumping.
  • Used alone or in addition to aspirin

Warfarin (Coumadin)

  • Warfarin changes the body’s clotting system. It thins the blood to slow clots from forming.
  • It is used to prevent strokes in patients with irregular heart rhythms or who are more prone to clots.
  • You will need frequent blood work to determine dosing when taking this medication

Statins

  • Statins are drugs that decrease LDL or “bad” cholesterol. Statins block the production of cholesterol in your liver and also help remove bad cholesterol from your blood. They can also help stabilize the lining of blood vessels which can help prevent future strokes and even heart attacks. Several statins are currently on the market. Some examples include: Simvastatin (Zocor®), Lovastatin (Mevacor®), Pravastatin (Pravachol ®) and Atorvastatin (Lipitor®). 

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