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Heart Palpitations

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What are heart palpitations?

Heart palpitations are feelings that your heart races, jumps, throbs, or flutters. You may feel extra beats, no beats for a short time, or skipped beats. You may have these feelings in your chest, throat, or neck. They may happen when you are sitting, standing, or lying. Heart palpitations may be frightening, but are usually not caused by a serious problem.

What causes heart palpitations?

How are heart palpitations diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine you and ask about your symptoms. Tell the provider if you smoke, use illegal drugs, or have a family history of heart problems. Rarely, heart palpitations may be caused by a more serious condition. Examples include a heart valve problem, heart failure, or a problem with how your heart beats. You may need tests to make sure your palpitations are not caused by a more serious problem:

How are heart palpitations treated?

Palpitations usually do not need treatment. Your healthcare provider may stop or change your medicines if they are causing your palpitations. Conditions that cause palpitations, such as an abnormal heartbeat, will be treated.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

What can I do to help prevent heart palpitations?

Call 911 or have someone else call for any of the following:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.