Pharmacy Clinical Pearl of the Day: Atrial Fibrillation

During atrial fibrillation, both of the heart's upper chambers beat chaotically and irregularly without coordination.

Clinical Pearl of the Day: Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that can increase your risk of strokes, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

Explanation:

  • During atrial fibrillation, the heart's 2 upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly without coordination.
  • Symptoms include palpitations, weakness, fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness, shortness of breath, and chest pain.
  • Atrial fibrillation may be occasional, permanent, persistent, and long-acting persistent.
  • Treatment goals include resetting the rhythm, controlling the rate, as well as preventing blood clots and decreasing the risk of stroke.
  • Medications used for maintaining a normal heart rhythm include dofetilide, flecainide, propafenone, amiodarone, and sotalol.
  • Medications used for heart rate control include digoxin, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers.
  • Anti-coagulants include warfarin and direct oral anticoagulants.

Source:

Atrial fibrillation - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic