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

Slow Heartbeat

Alternate Names : Bradycardia

Slow Heartbeat | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Treatment is directed at the cause. For example, a person with hypothyroidism is given thyroid hormone pills. Someone with arrhythmias may need a pacemaker, which is a device inserted under the skin to control the heart rate using electricity. A person with head injuries may need surgery or medicines to decrease the pressure inside the skull.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

Side effects are related to the treatments. For example, if the dose of thyroid medicine is too high, the person may develop a heart rate that is too fast. Insertion of a pacemaker requires minor surgery, which may result in bleeding or infections.

What happens after treatment for the condition?

What happens after treatment depends on the cause of the slow heart rate. A person who has a slow heartbeat because he or she is a good athlete needs no treatment. An individual taking thyroid or blood pressure medicines usually needs further monitoring and treatment for life. Someone with head injuries or brain damage may need help with regular activities.

How is the condition monitored?

The speed of the heartbeat can be monitored closely if needed. This is done with special equipment that measures the electrical activity in the heart. Other monitoring is related to the cause. For example, those with a heart attack may need close monitoring in the intensive care unit. Any new or worsening symptoms should always be reported to the doctor.

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Slow Heartbeat: Prevention & Expectations


Author: Adam Brochert, MD
Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
Date Reviewed: 10/03/01

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