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What medical treatment can my doctor suggest if my heart races too often?

ANSWER

The normal heart averages between 60 and 100 beats per minute. When your heart beats faster than this, you have a condition called tachycardia.

Your doctor may suggest medical treatment if your heart races too often or it lasts too long. In the meantime, they might recommend the following things to slow it down:

  • Cut back on coffee or alcohol
  • Stop smoking
  • Get more rest
  • Close your eyes and gently press on your eyeballs
  • Pinch your nostrils closed while blowing air through your nose -- a method called the Valsalva maneuver

SOURCES:

Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School: “Skipping a beat -- the surprise of heart palpitations.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Do You Have a Slow or Racing Heartbeat?”

Mayo Clinic: “Tachycardia,” “Bradycardia.”

Heart Rhythm Society: “Slow Heartbeat.”

American College of Cardiology: “Bradycardia (Slow Heart Rate).”

Reviewed by James Beckerman on August 01, 2018

SOURCES:

Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School: “Skipping a beat -- the surprise of heart palpitations.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Do You Have a Slow or Racing Heartbeat?”

Mayo Clinic: “Tachycardia,” “Bradycardia.”

Heart Rhythm Society: “Slow Heartbeat.”

American College of Cardiology: “Bradycardia (Slow Heart Rate).”

Reviewed by James Beckerman on August 01, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

When should I get medical attention if my heart races, slows down or skips a beat?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.