3-rx.comCustomer Support
HomeAbout UsFAQContactHelp
News Center
Health Centers
Medical Encyclopedia
Drugs & Medications
Diseases & Conditions
Medical Symptoms
Med. Tests & Exams
Surgery & Procedures
Injuries & Wounds
Diet & Nutrition
Special Topics

\"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Arrhythmias: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Heart Diseases


Alternate Names : Irregular Heartbeat

Arrhythmias | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Different treatments are available, depending on the type of arrhythmia being treated. Medications such as amiodarone, procainamide, and propranolol can be used to control the rate or restore the rhythm of the heart.

Calcium channel blockers, such as verapamil, have been used over 20 years. However, findings of two recent studies show that people who take a calcium channel blocker have a much higher incidence of complications than people taking other medications for heart disease. One study, for example, found that the risk of heart attack was 27% greater, and the risk of congestive heart failure was 26% higher. The American Heart Association recommends that individuals discuss risks and benefits of the medication with the healthcare provider.

A pacemaker may be inserted to control an arrhythmia or speed up a heart that is beating too slowly. Certain types of implantable pacemakers called cardiac defibrillators can sense a life-threatening arrhythmia and send an electrical shock to the heart. Often a person's life can be saved this way without a trip to the hospital.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

The side effects of treatment for arrhythmias vary according to the medications used, but include allergic reactions. Calcium channel blockers can cause swelling of the legs, as well as a higher risk of heart attack and congestive heart failure.

Implanting a pacemaker is a minor surgical procedure, with some risk of infection, bleeding, and allergic reaction to the anesthesia.

What happens after treatment for the condition?

Unless a severe or life-threatening arrhythmia is present, a person can generally resume normal activities once treatment is successful. Most individuals with a treated arrhythmia are encouraged to begin a regular exercise program. The person should make every effort to reduce coronary risk factors. This may include smoking cessation, control of other diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and eating a healthy diet to minimize heart disease. Medications may need to be adjusted to achieve the best response.

How is the condition monitored?

A person with an arrhythmia will have regular visits with the healthcare provider. The provider will monitor the effectiveness of medications, and evaluate the need for a pacemaker. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

Previous section


Next section

Arrhythmias: Prevention & Expectations


Author: Marvin Kendrick, MD
Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 07/05/01

\"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

Home | About Us | FAQ | Contact | Advertising Policy | Privacy Policy | Bookmark Site