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Learning About Rhythm-Control Medicines


Rhythm-control medicines return your heart to a normal rhythm. And they keep it at a normal rhythm. They are also called antiarrhythmics.

Doctors may use these medicines for many reasons. These reasons include:

  • You have symptoms from a heart rhythm problem.
  • You had electric cardioversion. Or you will have it.
  • You had catheter ablation.
  • You tried medicine to control your heart rate. But it did not help.
  • You are at risk of having a dangerous heart rhythm.

These medicines can have serious side effects.


  • Amiodarone
  • Propafenone (Rythmol)
  • Sotalol

Possible side effects

Side effects depend on which medicine you take. One serious one is a very irregular heart rate.

Read the information that comes with your medicine.

What to know about taking this medicine

  • You may be in the hospital when you start this medicine. Your doctor will watch what it does to your heart.
  • Be sure to ask your doctor any questions. You may want to know more about the pros and cons of the medicine.
  • Your doctor will check you often. They will make sure you are not having problems. Be sure to go to all of your visits.
  • You may need regular blood tests. These make sure you are taking the right amount of medicine.
  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse advice line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before you use any other medicines. This includes over-the-counter medicines. Make sure your doctor knows all of the medicines and natural health products you take. Taking some medicines together can cause problems.

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