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POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)?

POTS is a term used to describe a fast heart rate that happens when you sit up or stand. Tachycardia is a heart rate of 100 beats per minute or more at rest. POTS may be caused by cardiovascular system problems, low blood volume, or blood pooling in your legs when you stand. A high level of certain hormones or health problems from another disease or condition can also cause POTS.

What increases my risk for POTS?

What other signs and symptoms may happen with POTS?

You may have any of the following, depending on the cause:

How is POTS diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine you. Tell your provider about your symptoms and when they began. Include anything that makes your symptoms worse or better. Also tell your provider about any medicines you take or recent illness or surgery you had. Your provider will ask you to change positions while your heart rate and blood pressure are monitored. A drop in blood pressure within the first few minutes will rule out POTS. An increase in heart rate may mean you have POTS. Your provider may use any of the following to find the cause of your symptoms:

How is POTS treated?

Treatment depends on the cause. Your healthcare provider will treat any medical condition causing your symptoms. Your provider may make changes to your current medicines if a medicine is causing your POTS. Lifestyle changes are usually recommended first. If lifestyle changes do not work, certain medicines may be recommended. No medicine is approved to treat POTS, but some medicines can treat underlying causes or symptoms. The goal is to use medicines to control symptoms so you can start an exercise plan. Medicines may be given to improve your heart rate or to increase your blood volume. Medicines may be given to improve energy and strength, or to control your immune system. You may also need medicines to prevent or treat nausea or pain.

Treatment options

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

View more treatment options

What can I do to manage POTS?

Your healthcare provider will help you create a specific plan to manage POTS. The plan may include these and other guidelines:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) or have someone call if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

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.