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Tachycardia Treatment

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs

Find answers to your questions about cardiac arrhythmias.

Patient looks forward intently while sitting in a garage
Understanding
AF

Our Patient’s Guide to Understanding Atrial Fibrillation can help you learn about the causes, diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation.

Education Opportunities

Patient Stories

Read about the experiences of arrhythmia patients and how treatment helped them.

Treatment Options for Tachycardia, or Fast Heartbeats

If you have been diagnosed with a fast heart rate or tachycardia, it means you have an irregular heartbeat that is faster than 100 beats per minute in adults. Your doctor may recommend that you receive a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), depending on your symptoms, type of tachycardia and severity of your condition.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)

Like a pacemaker, an ICD is a battery-operated cardiac device that your doctor will implant surgically. When it detects an abnormally irregular or fast heart rate, the device delivers an electrical shock in order to restore and establish a normal rate. Your doctor will program the device so that it will not deliver an electric shock when you exercise or raise your heart rate by becoming active.

Cardiac ablation

In cardiac ablation, a doctor creates scar tissue in the area of the heart that is responsible for irregular heartbeats. If you have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter or supraventricular tachycardia, your doctor may recommend nonsurgical ablation, one of two general types of cardiac ablation.

Nonsurgical ablation

In nonsurgical ablation, a doctor inserts a catheter—a special long, flexible tube with wires—into a vein or artery and guides it into your heart. The catheter delivers energy to create the scar. Read more about this treatment option.

Additional tachycardia treatments

Depending on your symptoms and the severity of your tachycardia, your doctor may recommend a treatment other than a pacemaker, ICD or cardiac ablation. Your doctor may consider prescribing medication or suggest certain lifestyle changes to help control your arrhythmia and make your heart beat normally. Another tachycardia treatment may be cardioversion, using either medication or an electric shock applied by a doctor to restore your heart to its normal rhythm. Read more about other tachycardia treatments.

Treatment matters

Learn why treating cardiac arrhythmias is important from the American Heart Association.

Learn more

Find out what receiving treatment for your arrhythmia can involve.