Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT)?

PSVT often presents with the complaints of palpitations described as a rapid heart rate. There can also be a fullness in the throat that is associated with the rapid heartbeat. Other symptoms include the following:

  • lightheadedness,
  • weakness and fatigue,
  • shortness of breath,
  • chest pressure, and
  • syncope (passing out) may also occur.

The symptoms of PSVT usually occur while the heart is beating quickly but the fatigue can persist after the heartbeat returns to normal. By its nature, PSVT is intermittent and its onset cannot be predicted. As well, once the heart starts to beat quickly, there is no way of predicting if and when it will return to normal rhythm on its own. Some patients are unaware that their heart is beating quickly and PSVT is found only when the patient presents for care and is found to have a rapid heartbeat.

Return to Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia (PSVT)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Punky, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: May 21

The condition of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia started when I was in my late 20s. My doctor would stop the very fast heart rate (over 200) with an IV. After a few years the medicine verapamil was given to me, I take it every day. Once, about twenty years ago, I stopped the medicine. I had a very bad attack. I had to go to the emergency room. I have taken it ever since. I am eighty-two years old and I will take it till I die.

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Comment from: smile, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 09

I would get the heaviness in the throat as my first symptom, walking fast specially from outdoors to indoors I'll get short of breath. And occasionally I'll get tired (out of the blue) and need to rest/nap for about 20 minutes and then be fine. It doesn't happen daily, each day is hit or miss like waking up on the wrong side of the bed. I do best by drinking water frequently, sleeping 7 hours a day, and by exercising twice a week. I take fish oil and daily vitamin and I've had two ablations; the second one stopped my heart going into PSVT (paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia) but not the symptoms.

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