Treating bradycardia, or slow heartbeat, may require a pacemaker if the heart's electrical system is impaired without an apparent cause, according to WebMD. Doctors can make adjustments to a patient's prescriptions when the condition is caused by a specific medication or dosage. Bradycardia that isn't symptomatic can usually be left untreated.
A heart rate of fewer than 60 beats per minute is known as bradycardia, according to Mayo Clinic. A slow heart rate is often triggered by other conditions, such as a congenital heart defect, hypertension, sleep apnea or hypothyroidism, so physicians initially try to treat the underlying cause. When doctors expect the irregular heartbeat to be a long-term problem, they may proceed with implanting a pacemaker below the patient's collarbone. This small battery-powered device is connected to wires that run through the veins and attach to the heart. Electrodes are used to monitor the heart's electrical activity and automatically send pulses of energy to help maintain a healthy heart rate.
When medications trigger bradycardia and foregoing them isn't an option, doctors may also prescribe pacemakers to manage the condition, notes WebMD. The goal of treatment is to stabilize the heart rate between 60 and 100 beats per minute, ensuring that an adequate amount of blood pumps through the heart. While the condition is rarely cause for concern in healthy individuals, symptomatic bradycardia can cause dizziness, chest pain, low blood pressure, heart palpitations, shortness of breath and lack of energy.