Cardioversion resets your heart's rhythm to its normal pattern. It treats heart rhythm problems like atrial fibrillation or supraventricular tachycardia.
Chemical cardioversion uses rhythm-control medicines to reset your heart. They can also help keep your heart in a normal rhythm after it has been reset.
You may take this medicine as pills. Or you may get it in your arm through a tube called an IV.
If you have an IV, it will be done in the hospital. If you use the pills, you might start them in the hospital. Or you might start the pills at home.
Your doctor may ask you to take other medicines before your cardioversion. They can help keep blood clots from forming. And they can prevent the heart-rate problem from coming back.
Sometimes the heart rate doesn't go back to normal. Or it may reset for a while and then go back to an uneven rate. If this happens, you may need electrical cardioversion.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
After you call 911, the operator may tell you to chew 1 adult-strength or 2 to 4 low-dose aspirin. Wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you are having any problems.
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Current as of: December 6, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.