Bradycardia / Slow Heartbeat: Overview

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:32 by admin
An abnormally slow heart rhythm is known as bradycardia. Physiological bradycardia sometimes occurs in young adults, especially those who are highly trained athletes. More often, however, bradycardia is seen in older patients and occurs when the heart's natural pacemaker, the sinoatrial node, fails to work properly. In such cases, a physician may insert a pacemaker. Bradycardia can also result from damage caused by heart attack, cardiac surgery, or medication.

Bradycardia may occur as a side effect of certain drugs including, but not limited to, propranolol, atenolol, metoprolol, sotalol, verapamil, and diltiazem. Bradycardia may also occur in patients who suffer from an underlying medical illness not directly associated with the heart including, but not limited to, hypothyroidism, severe liver disease, hypothermia, typhoid fever or brucellosis.

Symptoms associated with bradycardia include, but are not limited to, dizziness, fainting spells, lack of energy, and weakness.

Recently, bradycardia has been associated with the chemical gamma butyrolactone, or GBL. GBL is found in a variety of products ranging from household solvents to nutritional supplements. When ingested, GBL is converted into gamma hydroxybutyrate or GHB, an extremely toxic substance. At least one person has died after taking a product containing GBL, and over fifty others have experienced nausea, violent behavior, tremors, slowed heartbeat, problems breathing, seizures, problems thinking clearly, and coma.

See Also

  1. Heart Problems
  2. Beta-Blockers: Overview
  3. Diabetes Drugs
  4. Diazinon
  5. GBL / GHB
  6. Jin Bu Huan: Overview
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