Tachycardia is a condition characterized by an abnormal rise in the heart rate in adults at rest caused by abnormal electric circuits in the chambers of the heart. Tachycardia is marked when the heart beats get elevated above 100 beats per minute at rest. It may not represent symptoms. Dizziness, confusion, fainting, chest pain, difficulty in breathing, and low blood pressure are the symptoms of tachycardia. It may result in abnormal functioning of the heart causing serious complications like heart failure, stroke, cardiac arrest, and sudden death if not managed properly in time.
Tachycardia is caused by abnormal electric impulses generated in the right upper chamber. Tachycardia is normally a temporary phenomenon and a normal response to the stimuli like fear or stress or anxiety. But tachycardia can be caused by any pathological reason and if it is not treated properly, it can lead to serious complications like heart failure, stroke, cardiac arrest and even death.
The management of tachycardia-
Rest – Taking rest is the best way to slow down the fast heart rate.
Vagal Maneuver- Vagal maneuver is the methods used to increase the tone of the vagus nerve and lowers down the electric conduction in the chambers of the heart.
Cessation of Caffeine Intake- Stopping coffee consumption, tea, cola, and diet pills, stimulants, etc. can control tachycardia.
Alcohol Reduction- Reducing alcohol is also is helpful to control faster heart rate.
Cessation of smoking- Your physician will advise you to stop smoking in order to slow down the rapid heart rate.
Exercise- Moderate exercise assists in reducing the stress and anxiety with the reduction in the tachycardia only under the supervision of your physician.
What Medications Are Used To Treat Tachycardia?
Antiarrhythmic- antiarrhythmic medicines are used to maintain sinus rhythm and rhythmic function of the heart. They slow down the heart rate by decreasing abnormal electric impulses of the heart. Amiodarone, sotatol, flecainide and propafenone are some of the antiarrhythmic medicines.
Beta-blockers- Beta blockers assist in controlling the receptors in the heart muscle that can increase heart rate and force of contraction. These medicines are propranolol and esmolol that lowers down the stress on the heart and reduce the pace of the heartbeat.
Calcium Channel Blockers- calcium channel blockers interfere with the contraction activity of the heart that reduces the force and rate of contraction. These medicines also reduce the blood pressure thereby reducing the load on the heart. These medicines are Amiodipine, Bepridil, Diltiazem, etc.
Digitalis – The medicine prepared from the leaves of digitalis that controls tachycardia by lowering the heart rate. It takes weeks or months to bring effect.
Anticoagulants- Tachycardia has potential to form blood clots in the heart. Anticoagulants act as blood thinners to reduce the life-threatening complications resulted from blood clots.
Anti-Anxiety Medicines- Anxiety can be the cause of rapid heart rate. Anti-anxiety medications help to control the anxiety thereby effective in reducing the heart rate.
Other modes of management-
Cardioversion- Shock is delivered through an automated external defibrillator on the chest to regulate the abnormal electric impulses and restore normal heart rate.
Catheter Ablation- Electrodes used in the catheter placed in the groin, arm or neck utilizes extreme cold or radiotherapy to destroy the extra electrical pathway that is responsible to increase the heart rate.
Surgery- Pacemaker and cardioverter-defibrillator can be surgically implanted to control heart rate. Open heart surgery can be recommended for the cases of other heart diseases responsible for extra electrical circuits.
Tachycardia is abnormal faster heart rate above 100 beats per minute at rest. Avoidance of coffee, recreational drugs, smoking, and alcohol help to control tachycardia. Medicines are recommended according to the causes of tachycardia. Surgical interventions are required in patients where medicines fail to lower down the faster heart rate.
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