We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Types of Arrhythmia Medications?

By Marlene Garcia
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Arrhythmia medications fall into three main categories that include anticoagulants, calcium channel blockers, and beta blockers. These drugs are used for conditions causing irregular heart rates that can lead to heart attack or stroke. Arrhythmia medications cannot cure the disorder, but may prevent damage to vital organs from decreased blood flow.

Calcium channel blockers, also called calcium antagonists, interrupt the flow of calcium to blood vessels and the heart that might cause irregular heart rhythms. They are also used to treat chest pain. Sometimes these drugs are used with other medications to improve the functioning of the heart and lessen the number of arrhythmia episodes.

Anti-arrhythmic medications treat conditions like tachycardia, a disorder that causes the heart to beat too fast, described as more than 100 beats per minute. When the heart beats excessively fast, the organ does not completely fill with blood, which inhibits blood flow to the body. If this condition leads to a heart attack, anti-arrhythmic medication is typically administered intravenously in an emergency room. Signs of tachycardia, such as dizziness or feeling lightheaded, might be aggravated by too much coffee, alcohol, and smoking.

Bradycardia represents a condition when the heart beats too slowly, or less than 60 times per minute. A person might feel faint, dizzy, and tired if not enough oxygen-rich blood reaches the brain. It might also cause high blood pressure and chest pain in severe cases. Arrhythmia medication is generally not prescribed for bradycardia unless symptoms are severe.

Atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes the heart to quiver, is the most serious disorder treated with anti-arrhythmia medications. Very little or no blood circulates when atrial fibrillation occurs, which commonly leads to cardiac arrest. Drugs might control the disease and prevent blood clots from forming in blood that pools in the heart. Blood thinning drugs are commonly used with other arrhythmia medications to control the size of existing blood clots and prevent new clots from forming.

Aspirin is an inexpensive anticoagulant arrhythmia treatment. It thins the blood and decreases the risk of blood clots, but cannot dissolve clots that have already formed. Prescription medication is commonly ordered for this condition, but it must be closely monitored because it might cause abnormal bleeding.

The human heart contains a natural pacemaker that controls its rhythm and heart rate. When this pacemaker malfunctions, it may lead to irregular heartbeat, fluttering, or quivering. If the heart does not pump adequately, disruptions in blood flow could damage the brain, lungs, and other internal organs.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Nikola Majcenovic — On Aug 18, 2011

Treating arrhythmia the standard way (drugs plus operations) can be pretty expensive. Of course, in some cases this is the only cure, but in other cases arrhythmia can be cured and can only be cured by following a certain diet. But you have go through some tests first to see if your arrhythmia is caused by a physical flaw in your heart or from other factors (stress, bad nutrition, etc.).

How do I know it works? I'm a living example! None of three different pills doctors prescribed me had any effect, but the change of diet did.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.