Antiarrhythmics are drugs that are used to treat abnormal heart rhythms resulting from irregular electrical activity of the heart. There are many different types of antiarrhythmic drugs. Examples include:
If you've been diagnosed with heart disease, you and your doctor have probably discussed heart disease medicines you need to maintain your heart health.
Your doctor has hundreds of different heart disease medicines to choose from. These medicines work in a variety of ways to help your heart work better. What are the different types of heart disease medicines? How do they help? Here is a list of the types of heart disease medicines:
There are also a variety of drugs used by the doctor in an emergency situation to control or convert an abnormal heart rhythm.
Why Do I Need to Take an Antiarrhythmia Drug?
Your doctor has determined that you have an abnormal heart rhythm that would be best treated with drugs alone or in addition to a procedure, such as putting in an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).
Because these drugs only control abnormal heart rhythms, not cure them, you may have to take them for life.
Can I Take Other Drugs While Taking Antiarrhythmics?
If you are taking an antiarrhythmic, talk to your doctor before taking any other drugs (prescription or over-the-counter), herbal remedies, or supplements.
Are There Side Effects Associated With Antiarrhythmics?
Yes, antiarrhythmics do have side effects. Notify your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects:
Swelling of the feet or legs
Shortness of breath
Abnormally fast heartbeat
Abnormally slow heartbeat
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Other potential side effects you should discuss with your doctor if you experience them include:
Bitter or metallic taste or change in taste
Loss of appetite
Increased sensitivity to sunlight
Diarrhea or constipation
When first taking antiarrhythmics, avoid operating heavy machinery (for example, driving) until you know how the medication will affect you. Ask your doctor for advice about what to avoid doing and when you can resume.