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Ischaemic Stroke Treatment

What is the Treatment for Ischaemic Strokes?

An ischaemic stroke is when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain, damaging brain cells, which ultimately affects your body. According to the NHS, “a combination of medicines to treat the condition and prevent it from happening again is usually recommended.”

It is essential to note that any type of stroke must be treated effectively and quickly to prevent long-term disability and save lives.


Ischaemic strokes are the most common type of stroke, with around 85% of the UK population living with this type of stroke. Specialist care and treatment are provided, including medication to help “reduce your blood pressure and reduce your risk of another stroke,” as stated by the Stroke Association. The type of medication that will be given depends on your medical history, symptoms and the mental and physical effects of the stroke.


Aspirin is usually given straight after having an ischaemic stroke. The NHS states, “As well as being a painkiller, aspirin is an antiplatelet, which reduces the chances of another clot forming.” You shouldn’t take aspirin on your own accord; the doctor will advise you if it is safe.

It is essential to be aware of any side effects of taking aspirin, including indigestion, stomach aches and bleeding and bruising more than usual. If you experience any of these symptoms, notify the doctor immediately.


Anticoagulants are given to lower the risk of new blood clots developing. They are provided as a tablet and are prescribed for long-term use. These include warfarin, apixaban, dabigatran and edoxaban. Some are also given on a short-term basis via injection, known as heparins.

According to the NHS, this type of medication is offered if you have an irregular heartbeat, which can lead to blood clots. You may also be given the medicine if you have a history of blood clots or have developed a blood clot in your leg vein, otherwise known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can restrict movement in your leg.

Blood Pressure Medications

High blood pressure is common in the UK, with 1 in 4 adults living with the condition. The NHS states that high blood pressure “puts a strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.” It can increase the risk of life-threatening conditions, including heart attacks, kidney disease, vascular dementia and strokes.

If your blood pressure is high, you will be given medication to help lower it. These include beta-blockers, alpha-blockers and calcium channel blockers.


The Stroke Association states, “Thrombolysis can break down and disperse a clot that is preventing blood from reaching your brain”, and “10% more patients survive and live independently.” The medication is known as alteplase and is said to be most effective within four and a half hours after your stroke symptoms have started. Some doctors may decide to provide it within six hours, but the longer you leave it, the less effective the medication will be. Therefore, if you experience stroke symptoms, you must contact the emergency services as soon as possible so they can get you to the hospital.


If the effects of the stroke are severe, surgery may be recommended to help with treatment.

Carotid Endarterectomy

According to the NHS, “Some ischaemic strokes are caused by the narrowing of an artery in the neck called the carotid artery, which carries blood to the brain.” The narrowing of the artery is caused by a build-up of fatty deposits, and surgery may be needed to unblock the artery.

The surgery is carried out under general or local anaesthesia. The procedure involves the surgeon making a small cut or incision in your neck to open the artery so the fatty deposits can be removed safely. Stitches are then used to close the artery and skin.


“Thrombectomy is a treatment that physically removes a clot from the brain”, states the Stroke Association. The procedure is carried out under local or general anaesthetic and involves inserting a small device through a catheter in your groin, which is then passed to the brain. The clot is removed using the device or via suction.

Like Thrombolysis, thrombectomy should be carried out within the first six hours of a stroke starting to ensure the treatment is effective. So, getting to the hospital as soon as possible is essential.


Aftercare is essential for your recovery. So, it is necessary to take on board what the doctor or surgeon has advised, such as medication, nutrition and lifestyle changes.

If you need additional support, you can receive person-centred stroke aftercare from our compassionate carers at Helping Hands. Our carers will provide you support in the comfort of your own home. Remaining at home allows you to stay in a familiar environment and be close to loved ones. Plus, you can maintain your routine, which can positively impact the recovery process.

You can choose between visiting care and live-in care, so you can be confident that we will find a package that meets your requirements. Our carers are fully trained to provide you with the care you need. They can support you with mobility, physiotherapy, making nutritious meals and the emotional care you require. We also have a clinical care team who ensure that we provide our customers with the highest level of care. For added reassurance, we are regulated and monitored by the Care Quality Commission and Care Inspectorate Wales. So you know you will receive the support you need.

If you would like more information on stroke aftercare, contact our friendly customer care advisors today. Or, if you prefer to speak to a member of our team in person, walk into your local Helping Hands branch.