scroll to top
Loading icon
Health Information Center
Press enter or spacebar to select a desired language.

Treatments for Stroke

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Treatments for Stroke

A stroke is treated based on type and severity. The goals are to bring back blood flow, lower harm, and stop it from happening again. Getting treated right away can lower the amount of harm. A person having a stroke should seek emergency medical services right away.

For ischemic stroke, clot-busting medicine can open blood vessels and bring back blood flow to the brain. This can lower or stop harm to the brain. The results are best when it is given early.

  • If care is given within four and a half hours of when stroke signs start, then clot-busting medicine may be given through IV.
  • If care is given within six hours of when stroke signs start, then intra-arterial (IA) clot-busting medicine may be used. IAs are given to the clot through a tube.
  • Special clot retrieval devices may also be used to remove blood clots blocking flow to parts of the brain.

These methods are not used for hemorrhagic strokes. They are treated by trying to slow or stop bleeding.

Rehabilitation will be needed after a stroke. It will mean working to get back or learn skills that may have been lost, such as talking, walking, or the use of an arm or leg. It can take days, weeks, or months. It can also last years.

A health care team of doctors, nurses, therapists, and other health workers will be needed during treatment.

Treatment involves:


  • Long-term management of stroke. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
  • Stroke. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at:
  • Stroke (acute management). EBSCO DynaMed website.
  • Types of stroke and treatments. American Stroke Association website. Available at:
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.