Antiarrhythmic Medicines for Atrial Fibrillation
Why It Is Used
Antiarrhythmic medicines are used to convert Reference atrial fibrillation Opens New Window to a normal rhythm or to maintain a normal heart rhythm after a procedure to stop atrial fibrillation.
Your doctor may recommend these medicines if you:
- Have severe symptoms of atrial fibrillation or if your symptoms bother you a lot.
- Have an Reference electrical cardioversion Opens New Window procedure.
- Have a Reference catheter ablation Opens New Window procedure.
Antiarrhythmics are used carefully, because they can cause dangerous side effects.
Doctors may recommend the "pill in the pocket" approach for people with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. With this approach, you can take a single dose of an antiarrhythmic drug when you feel palpitations instead of taking the medicine every day. For some people, this stops atrial fibrillation episodes. It may also reduce medicine side effects and the need to be seen in the emergency room or be hospitalized. But not everyone can use this treatment. Before you can take the "pill in the pocket" approach, your doctor will want to make sure that you do not have any other heart disease and that your heart's electrical system is normal.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 14, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference John M. Miller, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology