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Stroke Prevention

Lifestyle Changes

You can do plenty to make your heart and blood vessels healthy, even if you’ve had a stroke. Here are the steps to take:

  • Don’t Smoke
  • Improve your eating habits
  • Be physically active
  • Take your medicine as directed
  • Get your blood pressure checked, and control it if it’s high
  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight
  • Decrease your stress level
  • Seek emotional support when it’s needed
  • Have regular medical checkups

Medications

When doctors want to help patients prevent strokes caused by a blood clot, one medical therapy works by improving blood flow. Anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents are medicines that interfere with the blood’s ability to clot in an artery, vein or the heart. Doctors use them to help patients prevent strokes caused by a blood clot.

Anticoagulants: Also known as “blood thinners,” anticoagulant drugs delay the clotting of blood. Two examples are heparin and warfarin. Anticoagulants make it harder for clots to form or keep existing clots from enlarging. Anticoagulant treatment should be supervised, and should only last as long as necessary.

Antiplatelet agents: Antiplatelet medicines keep blood clots from forming by preventing blood platelets from sticking together. They are used as part of a treatment for patients with atherosclerosis or with increased clotting tendencies. Antiplatelet drugs include aspirin, ticlopidine, clopidogrel and dipyridamole.