Medicines for Stroke Rehabilitation
After a stroke, you may need medicines to decrease pain, treat depression, or help speed your recovery. These may include:
- Medicines for pain and depression after a stroke. Examples are:
- Medicines for sleeping. After a Reference stroke Opens New Window, you may have trouble sleeping (insomnia). Your doctor may prescribe different types of medicines to help you sleep, including the antidepressants trazodone (Desyrel, for example) and mirtazapine (Remeron), which have sedation as a side effect. Other sleep medicines, such as chloral hydrate, may be effective but have the potential for addiction.
- Medicines for anxiety. Various medicines may be used to treat anxiety after a stroke. Benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam (Ativan, for example), are minor tranquilizers or sedatives that slow down the central nervous system. Alprazolam (Xanax) and buspirone (BuSpar) are antianxiety medicines that relieve anxiety and nervousness.
- Medicines for agitation. Doctors use various types of medicines to treat agitation. Neuroleptics, such as haloperidol (Haldol), risperidone (Risperdal), and olanzapine (Zyprexa, for example), are antipsychotic medicines that work by changing the effects of brain chemicals. The anticonvulsant valproic acid (Depakote, for example) is sometimes used to treat agitation.
- Methylphenidate (Ritalin, for example) to improve mood and speed recovery. This medicine is sometimes used for a short time in the first stages of rehab.
- Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, for example) to improve attention span and help learning and memory. Experts are still researching the benefits and risks of this drug for people who have had a stroke.
Also see the topic Reference Spasticity.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 26, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Richard D. Zorowitz, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation