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


Alternate Names : Irregular Heartbeat, Arrhythmia

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

What are the treatments for the condition?

The treatment depends on what's causing the condition:

  • If the cause of the palpitations is found to be anxiety or thyroid problems, medication to treat the condition (not the heart) may be given.
  • Palpitations from certain heart conditions may be treated with heart medications such as calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers and other anti-arrhythmic medications.
  • A person with atrial fibrillation may be given anticoagulation medications, or blood thinners.
  • Sometimes an electric charge may be delivered into the heart by external paddles, known as elective cardioversion. Or a radiofrequency pulse might be delivered through a catheter placed into the heart.
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Side effects depend on the treatment used. Heart medications used to quiet the palpitations can cause worsening of the palpitations, life-threatening arrhythmias, swelling, severe allergic reactions, fatigue, dizziness, headache, and depression.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    Simple, intermittent palpitations require no treatment and have no long-term consequences. If the palpitations continue, then long-term follow-up is required. If the underlying disease is curable and the palpitations go away, no further treatment may be needed.

    How is the condition monitored?

    The person monitors the frequency of palpitations. Any irregularity lasting longer than a few minutes should be evaluated immediately by a healthcare provider. Medical help should be sought immediately if the person has chest pain, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, dizziness, or fainting. Regular visits to the healthcare provider to adjust heart medications may be required. Changes in the pattern, intensity, or duration of palpitations should be reported to the healthcare provider right away.

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    Palpitations: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Reviewer: Eric Berlin, MD
    Date Reviewed: 06/07/01

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