Atrial fibrillation is a common heart rhythm disorder. Treatments for atrial fibrillation may include medications and other interventions to try to alter the heart's electrical system.
You may be prescribed medications to control your heart rate and restore it to a normal rate. Heart rate control can be achieved through several medications.
The medication (Lanoxin) generally controls heart rate well at rest, but not as well during activity. Most people require additional or alternative medications, such as calcium channel blockers or beta blockers.
Beta blockers may cause side effects such as worsening of heart failure and low blood pressure (hypotension). Calcium channel blockers also can cause side effects and may need to be avoided if you have heart failure or low blood pressure.
In some cases, if medications aren't effective, you may need a more invasive procedure to control your heart rate.
May 06, 2014
- What is atrial fibrillation? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/af/. Accessed Feb. 17, 2014.
- Cheng A, et al. Overview of atrial fibrillation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 17, 2014.
- Wann LS, et al. 2011 ACCF/AHA/HRS focused update on the management of patients with atrial fibrillation (updating the 2006 guideline): A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2011;57:223.
- Ganz LI. Control of ventricular rate in atrial fibrillation: Pharmacologic therapy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 13, 2014.
- Grogan M (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 7, 2014.