If you suffered a stroke, you are at high risk of getting a second stroke. In fact, out of the 700,000 strokes that occur in our country each year, almost 30% are repeat strokes. Usually the problem or abnormality that caused the first stroke (e.g., high blood pressure) is the very problem or abnormality that causes the repeat stroke. What does this have to do with taking your medicines?
When a person suffers a stroke, or a TIA, doctors perform an aggressive search for a cause. If they can find the cause, they can prescribe appropriate medicines to prevent a second stroke. Many people suffer strokes for unknown reasons and they must simply live a healthy lifestyle and hope that they do not suffer a second stroke. But many people are fortunate enough to find out what caused their stroke. They are fortunate because in most cases they can do something to prevent a second stroke. For instance, to prevent repeat strokes caused by blood clots or by high blood pressure, people can take blood thinners or high blood pressure medicines.
The risk for a recurrent stroke is approximately 4% in the first month and about 12% in the first year after a stroke. These are not trivial odds. Yet many stroke survivors fail to take their medicines. Don't allow a second stroke to creep up on you. Be very aggressive about taking you medications. Do not miss doses. If you dislike the medicine you are taking because of its side effects, talk to your doctor about changing it. But unless the side effects are obviously harmful (e.g., bleeding) try to continue taking it until you have discussed it with your doctor.Recommended reading:
Causes of stroke