If you become
lightheaded, sit or lie down to avoid injuries that
might occur if you faint and fall.
Take a few deep breaths and try
to relax. This may slow down a racing heart rate. Be careful not to breathe too
fast, which can cause
Cut back or eliminate
caffeine (including coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate). Some nonprescription
medicines (such as Excedrin) contain caffeine. Caffeine can increase your heart
rate and cause irregular rhythms.
Cut back or eliminate alcohol and
tobacco, which also contain substances that can increase your heart rate or
cause irregular rhythms.
If your doctor has told you that you have
panic attacks, use home treatment measures to calm
You may find it helpful to keep a record of the date and time
that you noticed the change.
What were you doing when your heart rate or
rhythm changed? Were you active or resting at the time?
straining to urinate or have a bowel movement?
Were you in a
stressful or fearful situation?
Were you walking, standing,
sitting, or lying down?
How long did the change in heart rate or
How many times did you have
palpitations or a sense of a fast heart rate or
Did you have any other symptoms?
what you did that helped your heart rate or rhythm to return to normal, such as
lying down, deep breathing, or coughing. Did your heart rate or rhythm return
to normal on its own?
Try "tapping out" the heart rhythm with your
fingers and write it down so you can discuss it with your doctor.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:
You continue to have changes in your heart rate