What is it?

Tachycardia is a condition in which the heart beats over 100 times per minute. There are three types of tachycardia:
Supraventricular tachycardia is when an electrical signal located in the upper chamber misfires and causes the heart rate to speed up.Risk factors include smoking, alcohol drinking, and excessive caffeine intake. It is more common in children and women.
Ventricular tachycardia means that the rapid heart rate comes from the ventricle, when the electrical signal fires the wrong way. This condition is associated with an abnormal electrical pathway, structural problems, coronary disease, medications or electrical imbalance. Sometimes the reason is not known.
Sinus tachycardia means that the heart is beating as it should, but its natural pacemaker is sending the signals faster than usual.Sinus tachycardia is caused by exercise, fever, stress, anxiety, medications, anemia, hyperthyroidism, heart failure or heart attack.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Sinus Tachycardia

Signs & symptoms

Tachycardia symptoms include dizziness, shortness of breath, palpitations, chest pain and lightheadedness. In extreme cases, people can lose their consciousness or go into cardiac arrest. Sometimes, it can cause no symptoms.


Diagnosis is done by a physical examination and a medical history, and by other tests that may include an electrocardiogram or a holter. A holter monitor is a portable ECG device that records the heart activity for 24 hours, providing a prolonged look at the heart rhythms. Other tests that can be done are cardiac imaging such as echocardiogram, MRI, CT or coronary angiogram. Stress tests may be performed to see the heart function while working hard.


Tachycardia treatment goal is to slow the heart rate, prevent future episodes, reduce complications and treat the underlying cause. Slowing heart rate could be done by vagal maneuvers, medications and cardioversion. For prevention, a catcher ablation is an option if there is an extra electrical pathway. Other prevention methods may include medications, pacemaker, implantable cardioverter and surgery.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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