Medications can be used to decrease the number of episodes and the severity of an arrhythmia. Medications alter the electrical properties of the heart in one of two ways:
- Directly: The medications affect the electrical currents in the heart
- Indirectly: Medications such as beta blockers block the effects of adrenaline or improve blood flow to the heart.
Beta blockers lower the heart rate, blood pressure and the effects of adrenaline. They are a safe and commonly used type of medication.
If patients experience ventricular tachycardia despite treatment with beta blockers, antiarrhythmic medications, such as sotolol or amiodarone may be recommended. ACE-inhibitors may also be helpful in reducing the workload on the heart and preventing the development of heart failure. Please keep in mind that all medications can cause side effects and that new medications are being developed every year.