Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation

The treatments for Atrial Fibrillation will differ with each person and will depend on various factors like:

  • The kind of atrial fibrillation
  • Symptoms
  • Underlying cause
  • Overall health
  • Age
  • Medical history
Some individuals may receive treatment from their general physician while others may prefer to go to a cardiologist. The first thing to be done is to determine the atrial fibrillation cause. If the cause is discovered, only treatment for this cause will be necessary. However, if the underlying cause cannot be found the options for treatment are as follows:

  • Medications to bring atrial fibrillation under control
  • Medications to lower the risk of a stroke
  • Catheter ablation
  • Fitting a pacemaker
  • Cardioversion (electric shock treatment)
The medications known as anti-arrhythmics can effectively bring atrial fibrillation under control by:

  • Controlling the rate of the heartbeat
  • Restoring a normal rhythm of the heart
The kind of anti-arrhythmic medication to be taken will depend on the atrial fibrillation type, the medication side effects, and other medical conditions present. Some of the drugs used to restore the normal rhythm of the heart include the following:

  • Dronedarone
  • Amiodarone  
  • Beta-blockers
  • Flecainide
The manner in which the heart beats during atrial fibrillation increases the chance of blood clots being formed in the heart chambers. If the blood clots enter into the bloodstream it can result in a stroke. Depending on the risk level of a stroke, a prescription of aspirin or warfarin may also be given.

  1. W.B Kannel, P.A Wolf, E.J Benjamin, D Levy, Prevalence, incidence, prognosis, and predisposing conditions for atrial fibrillation: population-based estimates, The American Journal of Cardiology, Volume 82, Issue 7, Supplement 1, 16 October 1998, Pages 2N-9N, ISSN 0002-9149, 10.1016/S0002-9149(98)00583-9.
  2. William B. Kannel, Emelia J. Benjamin, Current Perceptions of the Epidemiology of Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiology Clinics, Volume 27, Issue 1, February 2009, Pages 13-24, ISSN 0733-8651, 10.1016/j.ccl.2008.09.015.