Health Library

Treatments for Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances)

Treatment of arrhythmias depends on the type and seriousness of the particular rhythm disturbance. For example:

  • Medications are most often used in tachyarrhythmias (fast heart rates).
  • Electrical conversion is used for life-threatening irregular rhythms.
  • Pacemakers are used most frequently for bradyarrhythmias (slow heart rates).

Treatment aims to maintain the heart's ability to pump blood efficiently.

Treatment involves the following:

Lifestyle changesMedicationsSurgeryOther treatments

References

Ferri F, ed. Ferri’s Clinical Advisor 2010. 1st ed. Philadelphia: Mosby Elsevier, 2009.
Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Textbook of Internal Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2008.
Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 14th ed. McGraw-Hill; 1998.
Libby P, et al. Braunwald’s Heart Disease.8th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2007.
Mayo Clinic and Foundation for Medical Education and Research website. Available at: http://www.mayo.edu/.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/.
Noble J. Textbook of Primary Care Medicine. 3rd ed.
Rakel R. Textbook of Family Medicine 2007. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier, 2009.
Rakel RE, Bope ET. Conn's Current Therapy. 60th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier, 2009.