A transient ischaemic attack (TIA) is often called a mini stroke. It happens when one of the small blood vessels that delivers blood to your brain becomes blocked. The causes of TIAs are similar to the causes of much heart disease and strokes. Predominantly it is caused by the build up of fatty deposits in arteries which cause blood vessels to become blocked. Although a range of factors can be responsible for this many are caused by ‘lifestyle’ such as smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise and being overweight.

TIAs normally only last for a few minutes and the effects are often completely gone within 24 hours. However your chances of having a full stroke after suffering a TIA are 1 in 10 so it is important to seek treatment and take steps to prevent further attacks.

Lifestyle is the major cause of TIAs so making sure that you have a healthy lifestyle and diet is likely to form part of the treatment for your TIA. Alongside this you may be offered medication or surgery.

Medication for TIAs

There are a number of different medications which can be used to treat TIAs. Which one you use will depend on a range of factors including the underlying cause of your TIA and any other medical conditions you may have. Your reaction to the medication and the side effects of the medications may determine which one you take in the long term.

Common forms of medication used to treat TIAs are:

  • Aspirin and dipyridamole
  • Clopidogrel
  • Anti-coagulant
  • Warfarin
  • Statins

Surgery for TIAs

Surgery can be used alongside medication to treat TIAs and prevent further attacks. This involves removing the fatty deposits from arteries which lead to blockages and attacks. However surgery is not suitable for everyone and careful consideration will need to be given before surgery is recommended.

At London Vascular Clinics we can give you a one on one consultation. We can discuss your TIA treatment including the most suitable medications for you and whether you may be suitable for surgery.