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The first step in treating a cardiac arrhythmia is prevention. This includes not smoking, not using illegal drugs or abusing prescription stimulant medications, and moderating caffeine and alcohol intake.
Once a cardiac arrhythmia develops, a treatment plan is individualized to the underlying cause, the presence of coexisting diseases, the age and general health of the patient, and other factors. Treatment generally involves a multifaceted plan that treats the cardiac arrhythmia and includes a long-term plan to address any underlying or associated diseases, disorder or conditions, such as heart disease, smoking and hyperthyroidism.
Mild cardiac arrhythmias that do not cause symptoms may not need treatment other than monitoring. This may occur when a person has a mildly 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 cardiac arrhythmias may be treated with a variety of medications, such as digitalis, beta blockers, anti-cardiac arrhythmia drugs or calcium channel blockers.
Moderate to severe cardiac arrhythmias generally require hospitalization and intensive care. Intravenous medication may be needed to correct the cardiac arrhythmia. For some types of cardiac arrhythmia, such as atrial fibrillation or third degree heart block, a pacemaker is necessary to override the abnormal electrical impulses in the heart and/or stimulate a normal heartbeat. Other procedures that may be needed include electrically converting the cardiac arrhythmia to a normal rhythm (normal sinus rhythm, NSR) by electrical cardioversion or defibrillation.
For immediately life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, such as ventricular tachycardia without a pulse and ventricular fibrillation, defibrillation and life support measures, including CPR, are necessary.
The following treatments are listed for Tachycardia in our knowledge base:
Some of the drugs and medications used in the treatment of Cardiac arrhythmia may include:
Review the treatment information pages for various causes of Cardiac arrhythmia:
More causes: not all possible causes for Cardiac arrhythmia are listed above; for a full list refer to causes of Cardiac arrhythmia.
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 'Cardiac arrhythmia' 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 Cardiac arrhythmia or choose View All.
The following list of medical conditions have 'Cardiac arrhythmia'
or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.
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