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The first step in treating abnormal heart rhythm is prevention. This includes not smoking, not using illegal drugs or abusing prescription stimulant medications and moderating caffeine and alcohol intake.
Once an abnormal heart rhythm develops, a treatment plan is individualized to the cause, the presence of coexisting and underlying diseases, the age of the patient, and other factors. Treatment generally involves a multifaceted plan that treats the abnormal heart rhythm and includes a long-term plan to address any underlying or associated diseases, disorder or conditions, such as heart disease, smoking and hyperthyroidism.
Mild abnormal heart rhythms that do not cause symptoms may not need treatment other than monitoring. For example, this may occur when a person has a rapid heart rate (tachycardia) as a side effect of a diet drug, which goes away after the drug is discontinued.
Lifestyle changes are also a part of treatment. These include quitting smoking, lowering stress and losing weight as needed.
Depending on the cause, some abnormal heart rhythms may be treated with a variety of medications, such as digitalis, beta blockers, antiarrhythmias or calcium channel blockers.
Moderate to severe abnormal heart rhythms generally require hospitalization and intensive care. Intravenous medication may be needed to correct the abnormal heart rhythm. For some types of abnormal heart rhythm, such as atrial fibrillation or third degree heart block, a pacemaker is necessary to stimulate a normal heartbeat. Other procedures that may be needed include electrically converting the abnormal heart rhythm by cardioversion.
For immediately life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms, such as ventricular tachycardia without a pulse and ventricular fibrillation, defibrillation and life support measures, including CPR, are necessary.
Some of the drugs and medications used in the treatment of Abnormal heart rhythm may include:
Unlabelled alternative drug treatments for Abnormal heart rhythm may include:
Review the treatment information pages for various causes of Abnormal heart rhythm:
More causes: not all possible causes for Abnormal heart rhythm are listed above; for a full list refer to causes of Abnormal heart rhythm.
Only your doctor can advise whether any of these treatments are appropriate for your specific medical situation. Always discuss all treatment options with your doctor before making a decision, including whether to start or discontinue any treatment plan.
The following list of conditions have 'Abnormal heart rhythm' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Abnormal heart rhythm or choose View All.
The following list of medical conditions have 'Abnormal heart rhythm'
or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.
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