A 60-year-old female asked:
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after suffering a stroke, if the only available treatment is iv heparin how long can it take to show results? we are just past 72 hour mark.

2 doctor answers
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
49 years experience Pathology
Immediately: Heparin is effective immediately on injection. It thins out blood and keeps it from clotting. However, it may not have any effect on the symptoms from stroke. Usually a person is transitioned from heparin to an oral anticoagulant, like warfarin, and that can take a week or so to be effective.
Answered on Jun 28, 2014
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Dr. Dariush Saghafi
33 years experience Neurology
Sounds odd: Why do say that the only AVAILABLE treatment for this person's stroke is IV Heparin? Why is TPA (alteplase) not available? In 2013 updated guidelines for the use of heparin were released to be used in specific circumstances of acute stroke but by and large TPA (alteplase) is the drug of choice and patients should always be able to at least get to a TPA (alteplase) center, "drip and ship." as we call it in the business.
Answered on Jun 28, 2014
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