Treatment for TIA begins with an evaluation to exclude other conditions such as hypoglycemia, seizure, or intracranial hemorrhage which may mimic the symptoms of a TIA. Treatment of TIA varies with the severity and length of the neurological symptoms.
In general, those who have had a TIA are treated with a combination of aspirin and dipyridamole. Clopidogrel may be substituted for aspirin in those who suffer from an aspirin allergy. Those who are at high risk for stroke require admission to the hospital for treatment.
Treatment for a TIA may include:
- Determination of stroke risk:
- This is based on the type of symptoms and their duration
- Other important factors include age, general health, presence of atrial fibrillation, and the presence of carotid artery disease.
- Management of high blood pressure
- Oxygen therapy
- Heart monitoring
- Intravenous fluids
- Blood thinner medications for a TIA:
- Aspirin and dipyridamole (Aggrenox)
- Dipyridamole (Persantine)
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Ticlopidine (Ticlid)
- Warfarin (Coumadin)
- Carotid endarterectomy:
- Surgery to open a diseased, narrowed artery in the neck that supplies blood to the brain
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TIA Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of TIA.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Do I need to lose weight?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having another TIA?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat a TIA:
- Carotid endarterectomy:
- Usually performed after a TIA to reduce the risk for stroke
- Procedure removes tissue that blocks the flow of blood inside of the arteries
- May prevent further strokes due to carotid artery disease
- Carotid artery stent:
Continue to TIA Home Care
- Dijk JM, van der Graaf Y, Grobbee DE, Bots ML; SMART Study Group. Carotid stiffness indicates risk of ischemic stroke and TIA in patients with internal carotid artery stenosis: the SMART study. Stroke. 2004 Oct;35(10):2258-62. 
- Puranen J, Laakso M, Riekkinen P Sr, Sivenius J. Risk factors and antiplatelet therapy in TIA and stroke patients. J Neurol Sci. 1998 Feb 5;154(2):200-4. 
- Rothwell PM. Incidence, risk factors and prognosis of stroke and TIA: the need for high-quality, large-scale epidemiological studies and meta-analyses. Cerebrovasc Dis. 2003;16 Suppl 3:2-10.