Treatments for Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances)

Treatment of arrhythmias depends on the type and seriousness of the particular rhythm disturbance. For example:

  • Medications are most often used in tachyarrhythmias (fast heart rates).
  • Electrical conversion is used for life-threatening irregular rhythms.
  • Pacemakers are used most frequently for bradyarrhythmias (slow heart rates).

Treatment aims to maintain the heart's ability to pump blood efficiently.

Treatment involves the following:

Lifestyle changes
Medications
Surgery
Other treatments

References:

Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 14th ed. McGraw-Hill; 1998.

Mayo Clinic and Foundation for Medical Education and Research website. Available at: http://www.mayo.edu/ .

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/ .



Last reviewed June 2008 by Michael J. Fucci, DO

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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