Your doctor will conduct diagnostic procedures to help determine if treatment is needed. Your doctor is your best resource for learning about the treatment options available to you and the right course for your condition. Remember that an arrhythmia can be a serious medical condition. With proper care, however, many arrhythmias can be successfully managed so you can live a full and active life.
Some people—like well conditioned athletes—experience slow heartbeats and require no treatment. For others, a heart rate below 60 beats per minute may require treatment. Conditions that can result in a slow heartbeat include sick sinus syndrome and heart block (also called AV block). If your slow heart rate means your heart is not pumping enough blood, you may need one of the following treatments.
A fast heartbeat is greater than 100 beats a minute. Sometimes, a fast heartbeat is your body’s normal reaction to needing more oxygen. Other times it is the result of a problem with the heart or the way it generates the electricity that causes it to beat. Conditions commonly associated with a racing heart include atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, supraventricular tachycardia, ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation and long QT syndrome.
Depending on the severity of the arrhythmia, your doctor may recommend one of these treatments.
Early Beat/Extra Beat
A premature ventricular contraction (PVC) is an extra beat between two normal heartbeats and occurs in the ventricles before they have time to fill with blood after a regular heartbeat. PVCs usually do not require treatment. However, if your doctor feels this condition will put you at risk for a more serious arrhythmia, one of the following treatments may be recommended.
Last Reviewed: March 11, 2010 900245