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.
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Anxiety Disorder Pictures: Symptoms, Panic Attacks, and More with Pictures
Learn about generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). See if your worries are normal or something more by learning about symptoms,...
Atrial Fibrillation: Heart Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Afib Treatment
Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of abnormal heart rhythm. Atrial fibrillation or AF can lead to serious heart...
Panic Attacks (Panic Disorder) Quiz: Test Your Mental Health IQ
Could you suffer a panic attack? Take this Panic Attacks Quiz to learn causes, symptoms, and treatments for panic disorder. Use...
Smoking Quiz: How to Quit Smoking
You know it's time you quit smoking. Learn the myths and facts about quitting smoking with the Smoking Quiz. When it comes to...
Causes of Tachycardia
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as...
Anemia is the condition of having less than the normal number of red blood cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin...
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems,...
An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm. With an arrhythmia, the heartbeats may be irregular or too slow (bradycardia), to...
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Symptoms, ECG, and Treatment Medications
Atrial fibrillation (AF or AFib) is an abnormality in the heart rhythm which involves irregular and often rapid beating of the...
Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart's ability to pump blood is decreased because the heart's main pumping...
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) affects many people today. Many people with HCM have no symptoms or only minor symptoms, and...
Restrictive cardiomyopathy, the rarest form of cardiomyopathy, is a condition in which the walls of the lower chambers of the...
Cocaine and Crack Abuse
Cocaine is an addictive stimulant that is smoked, snorted, and injected. Crack is cocaine that comes in a rock crystal that is...
Congenital Heart Defects
Congenital heart defects are heart problems that are present at birth. Genetics may play a role in some heart defects. Symptoms...
Dehydration is the excessive loss of body water. There are a number of causes of dehydration including heat exposure, prolonged...
Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37 C), in practice, a person is usually not...
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to...
High Blood Pressure Treatment (Natural Home Remedies, Diet, Medications)
High blood pressure (hypertension) means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Treatment for high blood pressure include...
Hyperthyroidism (Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Medication, Diet)
Hyperthyroidism is an excess of thyroid hormone due to an overactive thyroid gland. Symptoms can include increased heart rate,...
Panic attacks are sudden feelings of terror that strike without warning. These episodes can occur at any time, even during sleep....
Pheochromocytoma is a tumor of the adrenal gland. Pheochromocytomas are quite rare and the vast majority of them are entirely...
Smoking (How to Quit Smoking)
Smoking is an addiction. More than 430,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. from smoking related illnesses. Secondhand smoke or...
Smoking and Heart Disease
Smoking increases the risk of heart disease in women and men. Nicotine in cigarettes decrease oxygen to the heart, increases...
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])