There are many different types of arrhythmias and a wide range of treatments, from changing your lifestyle to surgical intervention. At Northwestern Medicine, you’ll feel comfortable knowing that our highly skilled and caring staff successfully treats heart rhythm disorders on a daily basis and will work with you to find your optimal treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with arrhythmia, medications may improve your heart function and help to regulate your heartbeat.
- Anti-arrhythmics: These medications work to lower your risk of developing arrhythmias, end the condition, lessen your symptoms or prevent arrhythmias from occurring. Some anti-arrhythmics were developed only for this purpose. Other cardiac medications work well as anti-arrhythmics, such as beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers, but are also useful in the treatment of other heart conditions, such as angina or high blood pressure.
- Coumadin®: These medications are prescribed for most patients with atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter to help reduce the risk of stroke. With atrial fibrillation, the heart’s atria are not squeezing effectively. Consequently, blood tends to pool in the atria, which can result in blood clots. Clots that form in the atria can break loose, travel through the arteries to the brain, and cause a stroke.
- Warfarin (Coumadin®): This medication prevents the formation of clots. It requires frequent patient follow-up for dose adjustments to prevent hemorrhage complications.