Drugs That Speed Up the Heart (Antidysrhythmic Drugs)

Examples

Atropine - Atropine is most often given IV in the ICU to speed up the heart in certain heart rhythm disturbances. Its use is usually only short term. If the heart problem is not quickly corrected a heart pacemaker is often required. Atropine has a variety of other uses. It is used to decrease lung secretions prior to surgery, in treatment of certain disorders of the lower urinary and gastrointestinal tracts and to dilate the pupils.

Epinephrine - This drug is most effective when used as early as possible in the course of the disease process.

Isoproterenol - Isoproterenol is most often given IV in the ICU to speed up the heart in certain heart rhythm disturbances. Its use is usually only short term. If the heart problem is not quickly corrected a heart pacemaker is often required. Isoproterenol also opens up airways (bronchodilator). It is rarely used for this purpose however.

What is an antidysrhythmic drug that speeds up the heart?

Under certain circumstances, the heart rate may decrease dramatically with possible serious consequences. These drugs increase the heart rate.

Why are they given?

The doctor determines that the heart rate is too slow. The drug is prescribed to speed up the heart and avoid potential harm to the heart or to the body.

How long are they used?

Sometimes it is used only once. If this type of drug does not work quickly, the doctor may recommend a heart pacemaker.

Do they have side effects?

These drugs do have side effects ranging from minor to serious. Some of these drugs may make the mouth feel dry. The patient may also be able to feel the heart beating strongly.