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Risk factors that may be modified include smoking, elevated cholesterol levels, elevated blood glucose levels, lack of exercise, poor dietary habits, and elevated blood pressure.
Medications that may be used to treat carotid artery disease include:
Antiplatelet medications - medications used to decrease the ability of platelets in the blood to stick together and cause clots. Aspirin, clopidogrel, ticlopidine, and dipyridamole are examples of antiplatelet medications.
Anticoagulants - also described as "blood thinners," these medications work differently than antiplatelet medications to decrease the ability of the blood to clot. An example of an anticoagulant is warfarin.
Antihyperlipidemics - medications used to lower lipids (fats) in the blood, particularly cholesterol. Statins are a group of antihyperlipidemic medications, and include simvastatin, atorvastatin, and pravastatin, among others.
Studies have shown that certain statins can decrease the thickness of the carotid artery wall and increase the size of the lumen (opening) of the artery.
Antihypertensives - medications used to lower blood pressure. There are several different groups of medications which act in different ways to lower blood pressure.
In persons with narrowing of the carotid artery greater than 50 percent to 69 percent, a more aggressive treatment may be recommended, particularly in persons with symptoms.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.