Irregular Heartbeat






Arrhythmias is an abnormality in the heart’s rhythm or heartbeat pattern. The heartbeat can be too fast, too slow, having extra beats, skipping a beat, or beating irregularly.  A change in the heart’s rhythm may feel like an extra-strong heartbeat (palpitation) or a fluttering in the chest. Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) 室性早搏 often cause this feeling.

Premature ventricular contraction (PVCs)   clickhere_red01_30_transp
室性早搏   clickhere_green30_transp

Usually an occasional irregular heartbeat is not a concern if it does not cause other symptoms, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or shortness of breath. It is quite common for children to have extra heartbeats. In healthy children, an extra heartbeat is not a cause for concern.

Even emotional stress, exercise, fatigue, hunger and pain can spark off arrhythmia, although in these cases, the irregular heartbeat tends to resolve itself after the affecting stimuli has gone.


In most cases its cause is unknown.  Recognized causes include;

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Diet pills
  • Decongestants in cough and cold medicines
  • Heart disease
  • Stress
  • Tobacco


  • Fast heart-beat
  • Chest pains
  • Dizziness
  • Faintness
  • Fluttering or pounding chest sensations “Flip-flops”
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skipping a heartbeat

“Flip-flops” – The sound of repeated flapping


Examination with a stethoscope, electrocardiograms (ECG), and electrophysiologic studies


Some arrhythmias can be prevented by avoiding caffeine, alcohol, decongestants, cocaine, and cigarettes, controlling anxiety and managing stress.

Cardiac arrhythmia   clickhere_darkgreen30_transp
心律不整   clickhere_blue30_transp




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Key Notes
Living with Arrhythmias
1. Taking Medications
2. Monitor your pulse
3. Substances to avoid
4. Manage your risk factors
5. Take it one day at a time



Examples of antiarrhythmic drugs include (generic name first; common brand names in parentheses)

  •     Amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)
  •     Bepridil Hydrochloride (Vascor)
  •     Disopyramide (Norpace)
  •     Dofetilide (Tikosyn)
  •     Dronedarone (Multaq)
  •     Flecainide (Tambocor)
  •     Ibutilide (Corvert)
  •     Lidocaine (Xylocaine)
  •     Procainamide (Procan, Procanbid)
  •     Propafenone (Rythmol)
  •     Propranolol (Inderal)
  •     Quinidine (many trade names)
  •     Sotalol (Betapace)
  •     Tocainide (Tonocarid)

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