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What is arrhythmia?

Arrhythmia refers to a heart condition, which is characterised by irregular patterns of the heartbeat. In adults, the normal resting heart rate is between 60 to 100 beats per minute. In arrhythmia, the heart may beat slower than the normal rate, faster than the normal rate or with an irregular pattern. There are different types of arrhythmia, out of which the most common one is atrial fibrillation where the heart beats are irregular and faster than normal.

If the heart beats faster than normal, it is known as tachycardia (>100 beats per minute). If the heart beats slower than the normal rate, it is known as bradycardia (<60 beats per minute).

What are its main signs and symptoms?

Symptoms of different types of arrhythmia may overlap.

Symptoms of arrhythmia, in case of tachycardia, include:    

Symptoms of arrhythmia, in case of bradycardia, include:

  • Confusion
  • Palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty in exercising
  • Shortness of breath

What are the main causes of arrhythmia?

Arrhythmia is a result of abnormal changes in the heart tissue. It is usually set off by a trigger, while in some individuals, the cause may be unknown. Arrythmia may be caused by:

  • Abnormal changes in the heart tissue such as reduced blood flow to the heart, stiffening or scarring of the heart tissue.
  • Exertion and emotional stress, which raises the blood pressure and trigger the release of stress hormones can also lead to arrhythmia.
  • Imbalance of electrolytes, hormones or fluids in the blood stream can, in turn, have an effect on the heart rate.
  • Intake of certain medications such as hypertension medicines can cause arrhythmia.

Factors like advanced age, family history, and genetics can increase one’s risk of developing arrhythmia.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

To diagnose an arrhythmia, the doctor will inquire about the patient’s family history, physical activity routine, and other factors.

Following this, there will be a physical exam, in which the doctor will assess the pulse, heartbeat, and look for signs of other diseases.

Other diagnostic tests include:

  • Blood tests- to assess for levels of electrolytes, lipids, hormones
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) – to assess the heartbeat, its rate, rhythm, etc.
  • Echocardiography (ultrasound scan of the heart)
  • Ultrasound of various regions of the body – to exclude other diseases

The treatment for arrhythmia includes lifestyle changes to manage the condition better. The doctor may also prescribe medications such as blood thinners and other drugs like beta blockers or adenosines to stabilise the heart rate. In severe cases, implanted devices such as pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators may be used to control the heartbeat.

  1. Medicines for Arrhythmia

Medicines for Arrhythmia

Medicines listed below are available for Arrhythmia. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.

Medicine NamePack SizePrice (Rs.)
Xylo(Astra)Xylo 2% Infusion28
Xyprost TmXyprost Tm 0.5%/0.03% Eye Drops0
XylocaineXylocaine 1%W/V Injection27
Xylocaine HeavyXylocaine Heavy 5% Injection3
XylocardXylocard 2% Injection0
XyloxXylox 0.2% Gel29
AlocaineAlocaine Injection14
ADEL 33 Apo-Oedem DropADEL 33 Apo-Oedem Drop200
LcaineLcaine Injection24
NircaineNircaine Injection64
UnicainUnicain 2% Injection11
Schwabe Crataegus oxyacantha CHSchwabe Crataegus oxyacantha 1000 CH96
Wocaine AWocaine A Injection466
XylonumbXylonumb 2% Injection20
XynovaXynova 2% Gel31
Alp PlusAlp Plus Tablet22
SBL Dibonil DropsSBL Dibonil Drops 84
AkutimAkutim 0.5% Eye Drops36
ZelcaineZelcaine Injection12
AlpropAlprop 0.25 Mg/20 Mg Tablet13
ADEL 43 Cardinorma DropADEL 43 Cardinorma Drop200
AppatimAppatim Eye Drop0

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References

  1. merican Heart Association, American Stroke Association [internet]: Texas, USA AHA: Common Tests for Arrhythmia
  2. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [Internet]: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Arrhythmia
  3. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Arrhythmia
  4. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Arrhythmias
  5. Health On The Net. Heart arrhythmias. Australia; [internet]
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