Disease management for Tachycardia

Learn about the treatment options for Tachycardia:

Consult with your doctor to determine which treatment would be best for you

When discussing with your doctor, you may want to use this document to help guide the conversation

When discussing with your doctor, you may want to use this document to help guide the conversation

1. Identify

An electrocardiogram records the electrical activity of the heart via electrodes that are placed on your chest and sometimes on your limbs. It is a noninvasive and painless method to help diagnose a heart problem.

A medical assessment can identify if you are at risk of malignant arrhythmias, i.e. those that originate from the ventricles, which are the chambers responsible for pumping blood from the heart to the whole body.

Continuous heart monitoring is useful for capturing irregular heartbeats that happen infrequently — in some cases, you may not even feel any symptoms.

Holter Monitor: This portable ECG device may be used for up to seven days to record the electrical activity of the heart while performing your daily routine. Performing a record of your ECG will allow your doctor to analyze your heart rate and identify any abnormalities that may be occurring.

Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM): The ICM is a small device that is implanted under the skin in the chest area. The ICM detects and stores abnormal heart rhythms for about three years.

  • Based on your treating doctor’s consideration, an echocardiogram may be performed to evaluate the size of your heart and its functioning.
  • Another diagnostic test is coronary angiography, which makes the blood flow through the arteries of your heart visible. Like the echocardiogram, this procedure will be requested by your doctor if considered necessary.
  • An electrophysiological study (EPS) may be performed to observe the functioning of the heart’s electrical system in more detail and confirm the presence or absence of electrical abnormalities.

This is another available diagnostic alternative, which and according to the criteria of your doctor can be performed to study in greater detail if there is a disorder in the heart’s electrical system. This allows in a more specific way to determine the exact type of cardiac arrhythmia that is presenting to establish treatment.

You can determine how quickly your heart beats by taking your pulse. If you identify that your pulse is irregular or slow, consult a doctor.

Example on how to take the pulse in the wrist. Taking care of your heart.

Flip one hand, palm up. Gently place the index and middle finger of your opposite hand in the internal part of your wrist below the base of the thumb; the position is correct if you feel your heartbeat. Count the total number of heartbeats for 1 minute, or for 30 seconds, and multiply this number by two.

Example on how to take the pulse in the neck. Taking care of your heart.

The pulse can also be found in the neck, always using the same fingers and performing the process similarly to the previous one.

Only your doctor can determine if you have tachycardia. To rule out or confirm a diagnosis of tachycardia, you may need to undergo one or more diagnostic tests.

2. Manage

If you have tachycardia or you have risk factors that may lead to malignant tachycardia, you may be a candidate for an implantable heart device called an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD).
It serves 2 functions:

The device is programmed with specific parameters and features; the programming is set by your doctor to provide you with the most appropriate treatment

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators have multiple functions that will help to control your cardiac arrhythmias and provide important information to the doctor to optimize treatment.

  • Medicamentos
  • Desfibrilador Automático Implantable (DAI) un dispositivo cardíaco implantable que monitoreará y corregirá el ritmo cardíaco irregular – tu médico utilizará criterios específicos para determinar si eres candidato potencial para un DAI.
  • Medicamentos
  • Desfibrilación externa
  • Desfibrilador Automático Implantable (DAI)
  • Medicamentos
  • Ablación cardíaca
  • Medicamentos
  • Cardioversión
  • Ablación cardíaca
To know more about living with a pacemaker, please download this brochure

3. Maintain

Maintaining healthy habits can help prevent heart disease and improve your quality of life.

  • Maintain a healthy diet: Eat fruits and vegetables, high-fiber foods, lean meats, fish and unsaturated fats like olive oil. Reduce alcohol and caffeine-containing beverages.
  • Exercise regularly: Try to get physical activity every day for at least half an hour.
  • Avoid harmful habits like smoking.
  • Control your blood pressure regularly: If you have high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s orders and take all prescribed medications as directed.
  • Control your cholesterol: Have your cholesterol levels checked regularly. Eat fewer high-cholesterol foods, and if necessary, take cholesterol-lowering medication as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Manage your stress levels: Reduce stress as much as possible. Practice healthy techniques for managing stress such as muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and exercise.
  • Treat sleep apnea and thyroid disorders: If you have sleep apnea or thyroid disorder, it’s important to go to the doctor to treat them properly.

Depending on your arrhythmia type and condition your doctor may prescribe medication to control your heart rhythm and heart rate.

  • Antiarrhythmic medications
  • After electrical cardioversion (see Medical Procedures on the tab below), your doctor may prescribe antiarrhythmic medications to help prevent episodes of supraventricular tachycardia (atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter) in the future.
  • Heart rate control medications
  • They help your heart to slow down in order to continue pumping blood to the organs effectively
  • Anticoagulant medications when you are diagnoses with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter
  • Anticoagulant medications decrease the blood’s ability to clot, preventing thrombus formation and helping to prevent stroke.
  • Stroke is very dangerous: it can cause permanent damage to your brain or even death.
  • There are two types:
  • Cardioversion
  • Cardioversion is performed either with medications or with an electric shock delivered to your heart, when you are sedated, to reset a supraventricular tachycardia back to normal.
  • Ablation
  • Some patients have difficult-to-manage arrhythmias, despite receiving optimal medical treatment and/or an implanted defibrillator ; for these cases specialists may suggest ablation, usually consisting of inserting special catheters through the blood vessels of the legs to the heart to cause a lesion at the site or sites in the heart where the arrhythmia originates from.
    • There are two types of ablation procedures:
      • Cryoablation: The affected area is frozen, creating scar tissue.
      • Radiofrequency ablation: The affected area is heated, to destroy the problem area.

Keep a close communication with your doctor and report to him/her when you are not satisfied with the treatment, if you have new symptoms or side effects.

Seek help in case of an emergency. Contact your doctor or the ER right away if your heart rate is faster than usual, if you feel you’re going to faint, if you have chest pain or if you notice shortness of breath.


When discussing with your doctor, you may want to use this document to help guide the conversation

When discussing with your doctor, you may want to use this document to help guide the conversation