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Treatments for Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances)
by Ricker Polsdorfer, MD
Not all arrhythmias need to be treated. Many are harmless and do not cause problems. When arrhythmias affect heart function, and cause symptoms serious enough to affect your daily life, treatment may be needed. The goal of arrhythmia treatment is to restore the normal rhythm to your heart to avoid potential complications such as:
If you need treatment, it is likely you will have a healthcare team that is made up of doctors, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, and other health professionals. It is important throughout your course of treatment to work with your team by maintaining contact, adhering to treatment, and going to any scheduled appointments.
Treatment of arrhythmias depends on the type, cause, and seriousness of the particular rhythm disturbance you have. Common approaches include:
Colucci R, Silver M, Shubrook J. Common types of supraventricular tachycardia: Diagnosis and management. Am Fam Physician. 2010;82(8):942-952.
Gutierrez C, Blanchard D. Atrial fibrillation: Diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2011;83(1):61-68.
How are arrhythmias treated? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/arr/treatment. Updated July 1, 2011. Accessed March 20, 2014.
Prevention & treatment of arrhythmia. American Heart Association website. Available at:
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Updated December 21, 2016. Accessed March 20, 2014.
Last reviewed June 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
Last Updated: 12/20/2014
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