Arrhythmia, also known as dysrhythmia, is a condition in which the heart beats with an irregular or abnormal rhythm. The heart’s electrical system controls the heartbeat, and in a person with arrhythmia, this electrical system is not working properly. This can cause the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or in an irregular pattern.
There are several types of arrhythmias, including:
A fast heart rate, usually defined as a heart rate over 100 beats per minute.
A slow heart rate, usually defined as a heart rate under 60 beats per minute.
- Atrial fibrillation
A condition in which the upper chambers of the heart (the atria) beat irregularly and out of coordination with the lower chambers (the ventricles).
- Ventricular tachycardia
A condition in which the ventricles beat rapidly and irregularly, which can be a serious and potentially life-threatening condition if not treated.
Arrhythmias can be caused by a variety of factors, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and certain medications. Some arrhythmias are benign and do not require treatment, while others can be serious and may require medical intervention.
SYMPTOMS OF ARRHYTHMIA
Symptoms of arrhythmia can vary depending on the type of arrhythmia and the severity of the condition. Some common symptoms of arrhythmia include:
- Palpitations or the sensation of a fluttering or pounding in the chest
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Fatigue or weakness
- Fainting or near-fainting episodes
- Rapid or slow heartbeat
It’s worth noting that some people may not experience any symptoms at all, yet they may still have an arrhythmia. In other cases, symptoms of arrhythmia can be mistaken for other health problems. If you suspect you have an arrhythmia, it’s important to see a doctor for an evaluation.
USUAL MEDICATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH ARRHYTHMIAS
There are several types of medications that can be used to treat arrhythmias, and the specific medication or combination of medications prescribed will depend on the type of arrhythmia and the severity of the condition.
Some common classes of medications used to treat arrhythmias include:
These medications slow down the heart rate and reduce the risk of palpitations.
- Calcium channel blockers
These medications relax and widen the blood vessels, which can help reduce the risk of palpitations.
- Anti-arrhythmic drugs
These medications help regulate the electrical activity of the heart and can be used to treat a variety of arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia.
This medication is used to treat atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter by helping the heart pump more efficiently.
- Blood thinners
These medications, such as warfarin, heparin and novel oral anticoagulants, are used to prevent blood clots, which can help reduce the risk of stroke in people with atrial fibrillation.
It’s worth noting that these medications can have side effects and may interact with other medications you are taking. Therefore, it’s important to work closely with your doctor to find the right treatment plan for you.