Palpitations are the unpleasant sensations of irregular and/or forceful beating of the heart in the chest. This symptom can be caused by a change in the rate or rhythm, or by an increase in the force of the contraction of the heart muscle. In some patients with palpitations, no heart disease or abnormal heart rhythms can be found. In others, palpitations result from abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias. Arrhythmias are heartbeats that are too slow, too rapid, irregular, or too early.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
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Causes of Palpitations
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Other Causes of Palpitations
- Bradycardia (Very Slow Heartbeat)
- Medications (Both Prescription and Nonprescription)
- Premature Atrial Contractions
Examples of Medications for Palpitations
- amiodarone, Cordarone, Nextrone, Pacerone
- atenolol, Tenormin
- Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs)
- metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
- nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat, Afeditab)
- procainamide, Pronestyl; Procan-SR; Procanbid (These brands no longer are available in the U.S.)
- propranolol, Inderal, Inderal LA, Innopran XL
- quinidine (Discontinued Brands: Cardioquine, Cin-Quin, Duraquin, Quinidex, Quinora, Quinact)
- verapamil (Calan, Verelan, Verelan PM [Discontinued: Isoptin, Isoptin SR, Covera-HS])