Not every patient is recommended the same treatment plan to manage AFib (atrial fibrillation). Your physician determines the most suitable treatment for you by taking into account the severity of your symptoms, how long you have been experiencing them, and the root cause of your AFib. Typically, the purpose of any given AFib treatment entails:
- Correcting and regulating heart rate
- Curtailing blood clot formation
- Lowering the risk of a stroke
The treatment approach you and your physician decide on is determined while considering numerous factors, such as whether you have additional cardiovascular issues and also whether you can be placed on heart rhythm controlling medicines. Some patients’ situation also necessitates more aggressive approaches to treatment such as surgery.
In some patients, a particular incident or another pre-existing condition like a thyroid condition can be the reason for their AFib. In such instances, when the underlying problem is addressed, this also improves the rhythm of the heart. If you experience severe symptoms or if this is the first time you are having AFib symptoms, your physician may choose to correct your heart’s rhythm.
Correcting the Heart’s Rhythm
Optimally, atrial fibrillation treatment should aim to correct the heart rate and rhythm. To achieve this, your physician may opt to have you undergo a procedure known as cardioversion to restore the normal rhythm of your heart. Cardioversion is performed using one of two methods: electrical cardioversion or cardioversion with medications.
Prior to your procedure of cardioversion, you may be placed on a blood thinner like for a while to lower your risk of clotting and a stroke. If your AFib event continues for fewer than 48 hours, you are typically required to go on for about a month following your cardioversion procedure to stop blood clotting even if the rhythm of your heart has been normalized.
Medications to Keep Heart’s Rhythm Normal
After you receive electrical cardioversion, your physician may put you on cardiac dysrhythmia medications to lower the risk of more AFib events. The most common medications for this purpose include amiodarone, dofetilide, flecainide, propafenone, and sotalol. Even though these medications are highly effective in keeping your heart rhythm normal, they come with a few mild side effects such as fatigue, lightheadedness, and nausea.
Medications to Control Heart Rate
You may also be placed on drugs that regulate the heart rate and correct its irregular rate. There are numerous medications that effectively control heart rate. A medication known as is one of them. This medication can only regulate the rate while at rest, not while expending energy. Hence, this drug is usually supplemented with beta blockers or calcium channel blockers.
Featured Image: DepositPhotos/ ocskaymarkPosted on May 5, 2023