Treatment

The type of treatment received depends on your type of arrhythmia and its seriousness, as well as your age, health, medical history, and your preferences. Treatment methods include:

  • Lifestyle Changes – Doing things you used to do may no longer be very safe if you have arrhythmia. Therefore, you may have to change some of your everyday activities. The best way to learn what you need to do is by asking your doctor.
    • If you smoke, you should stop.
    • Limit your alcoholic intake.
    • Limit (or stop) your caffeine intake
    • If your arrhythmia occurs more often while participating in certain activities, you should try to keep away from those activities.
    • Read the labels before using cough medicines. Some medicines contain stimulants that may lead to more occurrences of irregular heart beating.
      Try to take measures to reduce any stress in your life.
  • Medications – There are a number of medications that can be used to treat arrhythmias, including:
    • Antiarrhythmic drugs – drugs that control heart rate
    • Anticoagulants – drugs that make it less likely for blood clots to occur
  • Medical Devices – Heart rate may be regulated by electronic medical devices that can be implanted. They send electrical impulses to the heart to correct arrhythmias.
    • Pacemaker – A pacemaker is an electric device that is placed near the shoulder under the skin. It has wires that are connected to the atrium and ventricle. It works by sending electrical signals that control the heart rate when the beat is abnormal.
    • Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) – An ICD is an electric device that is placed near the chest under the skin. It has wires that are connected to the heart. An ICD monitors the heart rate. If the heart rate is dangerously fast, the ICD will sense it and send an electric shock to the heart so that it can be brought back to a normal rate.
  • Arrhythmia Procedures
    • Ablation – Ablation is the destruction of an abnormal pathway or circuit. Radiofrequency waves work to cauterize or burn these circuits in the heart to cure types of arrhythmias.
  • Surgical Procedures – Surgery is only sometimes done to treat arrhythmias, but often when surgery is already needed for some other condition.