ZocdocAnswersWould beta blockers help me if my heart rhythm is off?

Question

Would beta blockers help me if my heart rhythm is off?

When I was younger I had trouble with my heart beat, it would go really fast for no reason. My doctors couldn't find anything wrong with my heart though. But I've heard that beta blockers can help. Would my doctor give them to me even if I haven't been diagnosed with a disease or condition?

Answer

Beta blockers are a class of medication that are used for many different conditions, one of which is to help control or suppress certain types of irregular heart rhythms. However, like all medications, there are potential adverse side effects associated with beta blockers; these include depression, lowering blood pressure, lightheadedness, and erectile dysfunction. Given the potential for side effects, people should not take any medications that are not indicated or for which the benefits are not outweighed by the risks. In your situation, it is unclear what type of heart condition you have suffered from. An accelerated heart beat can be due to many different conditions, ranging from anxiety to thyroid dysfunction to a primary arrythmia due to an ectopic focus of electricity in the upper chambers of the heart. The decision to treat you with medications should be based on current symptoms and an accurate diagnosis that is achieved through a thorough medical history and physical exam. If indicated, then further diagnostic testing with EKG, Holter Monitor (continuous EKG) and imaging should be performed. You should see your primary care doctor to discuss your medical questions and decide what treatment plan is best suited for you.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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