What Are the Treatment Options for a Slow Heart Rate?


Quick Answer

Treatment options for a slow heart rate vary depending on the underlying cause as well as the patient's symptoms, explains WebMD. A pacemaker helps correct bradycardia that results from issues with the heart's electrical system, while correcting an electrolyte imbalance may eradicate the issue if the imbalance is the cause.

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Full Answer

Hypothyroidism is another potential cause of a slow heart rate, and the heart may return to beating at a normal pace following treatment of the hypothyroidism, notes WebMD. Hypothyroidism treatment typically consists of drug therapy with a medication containing levothyroxine, which supplies the body with synthetic thyroid hormones to make up for what the thyroid gland is unable to produce on its own.

Patients who have abnormally slow heart rates but are otherwise asymptomatic do not usually require treatment, states WebMD. However, it is very important to treat severe brachycardia because the very low heart rate prevents the heart from pumping adequate amounts of blood through the body, which can result in serious consequences, including seizures, passing out and death. There is also a risk of severe injuries due to falling during seizures or fainting spells. Symptoms of a very slow heart rate include dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath and heart palpitations. Cognitive problems, such as trouble concentrating or confusion, can also occur.

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