Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Tachycardia is a heart rate that is too fast. Tachycardia occurs normally in times of stress, anxiety, or fear, but the heart rate returns to normal when the precipitating event or stimulus is removed. It also occurs as a normal response to intense exercise. In some medical conditions, the heart rate may be persistently elevated. Examples include certain arrhythmias of the heart. Thyroid diseases can also cause an elevation of the heart rate. The heart rate may be elevated when body temperature is high or due to taking certain medications. Cigarette smoking and excessive caffeine intake also cause tachycardia, as well as abuse of alcohol and recreational drugs. Other causes of fast heart rate include anemia, panic disorder, and diseases that damage the heart itself.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
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Examples of Medications for Tachycardia
- amiodarone, Cordarone, Nextrone, Pacerone
- amlodipine, Norvasc
- atenolol, Tenormin
- bisoprolol, Zebeta
- carvedilol (Coreg, Coreg CR)
- digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxin Pediatric)
- diltiazem (Cardizem, Cardizem CD, Cardizem LA, Tiazac, Cartia XT, Diltzac, Dilt-CD, and several oth)
- labetalol, Normodyne, Trandate
- metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
- nifedipine, Adalat (discontinued brand), Procardia, Afeditab, Nifediac
- propranolol, Inderal, Inderal LA, Innopran XL
- sotalol, Betapace, Betapace AF, Sorine, Sotylize
- timolol (Blocadren and Timolide 10-25 have been discontinued)
- verapamil (Calan, Verelan, Verelan PM [Discontinued: Isoptin, Isoptin SR, Covera-HS])
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