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Ischemic Stroke

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is an ischemic stroke?

An ischemic stroke occurs when blood flow to part of your brain is blocked. The block is usually caused by a blood clot that gets stuck in a narrow blood vessel. When oxygen cannot get to an area of the brain, tissue in that area may get damaged. The damage can cause loss of body functions controlled by that area of the brain. A stroke is a medical emergency that needs immediate treatment. Most medicines and treatments work best the sooner they are given.

Ischemic Stroke

What are the warning signs of a stroke?

The words BE FAST can help you remember and recognize warning signs of a stroke:


What are the signs and symptoms of an ischemic stroke?

Signs and symptoms may begin suddenly and worsen quickly. Any of the following may appear minutes or hours after a stroke:

What increases my risk for an ischemic stroke?

How is an ischemic stroke diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine you and ask about your symptoms. He or she will ask if you have any medical conditions. You may need any of the following:

How is an ischemic stroke treated?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you and your family about ways to treat an ischemic stroke. They will explain the risks and benefits of each treatment. You will be able to help create a treatment plan that may include any of the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What can I do to manage an ischemic stroke?

What can I do to prevent another stroke?

What do I need to know about depression after a stroke?

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have depression that continues or is getting worse. Your provider may be able to help treat your depression. Your provider can also recommend support groups for you to join. A support group is a place to talk with others who have had a stroke. It may also help to talk to friends and family members about how you are feeling. Tell your family and friends to let your healthcare provider know if they see any signs of depression:

Where can I find support and more information?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) or have someone else call if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.