The optimal management of blood pressure in the first 24 hours of ischemic stroke remains a controversial topic. Most patients are hypertensive at presentation and subsequently experience a spontaneous decline in blood pressure. Decreasing penumbral blood flow and exacerbating vasogenic edema are significant concerns in whether to treat blood pressure elevations. Although an initially elevated blood pressure has been associated with poor outcome, attempts to acutely lower blood pressure are also associated with worsened outcomes. Thus, the current approach in acute ischemic stroke is permissive hypertension, in which antihypertensive treatment is warranted in patients with systolic blood pressure greater than 220 mm Hg, receiving thrombolytic therapy, or with concomitant medical issues. The use of predictable and titratable medications that judiciously reduce (∼ 10% to 15%) the initial presenting mean arterial pressure is recommended in these situations. Future study must define optimal blood pressure goals, likely on an individual basis.