After you’ve suffered a stroke you’ll probably be prescribed several medications to help prevent blood clots that can cause another stroke.
The types of medicines that prevent clotting are:
Anticoagulant medicines, or blood thinners. These reduce the chance of your getting clots in your arteries. Some anticoagulants include:
- Warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
- Dabigatran (Pradaxa)
- Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)
Side effects of anticoagulants include:
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Back pain
- Easy bruising
- Increased menstrual bleeding
- Hair loss
*** Because anticoagulants lengthened the time required to form a blood clot, patients taking anticoagulants are at a higher risk for excessive bleeding and hemorrhaging. Speak to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking anticoagulants. It is especially important to take into consideration this potentially life threatening side effect.
Anti-platelet medicines, which prevent clotting. They include:
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Prasugrel (Effient)
- Ticagrelor (Brilinta).
Side effects of antiplatelet medications include:
- Excessive bleeding
Cholesterol-lowering drugs are also used to prevent strokes, including:
- Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
- Fluvastatin (Lescol)
- Pravastatin (Pravachol)
- Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
- Simvastatin (Zocor)
- Advicor®** (lovastatin + niacin)
- Caduet®** (atorvastatin + amlodipine)
- Vytorin™** (simvastatin + ezetimibe).
- Ezetimibe (Zetia®), which removes cholesterol from the intestines.
Side effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs include:
- Flushing of the skin
- Abdominal cramping/gas
- Muscle weakness
Blood pressure medications may be prescribed if your blood pressure is too high, like:
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
- Calcium channel blockers