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Premature Atrial Contractions

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Premature atrial contractions (PACs) are an interruption in your heart rhythm. PACs happen when your heart gets an early signal to pump. PACs are common and usually have no cause. Most people have skipped heartbeats from time to time. Follow up with your healthcare provider so the cause of your PAC can be diagnosed and treated.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call 911 for any of the following:

You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:

  • Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest that lasts longer than 5 minutes or returns
  • Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
  • Trouble breathing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat, especially with chest pain or trouble breathing

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your symptoms do not go away, or they get worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

  • Medicines may be given to make your heart beat at a regular rate and rhythm.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Bring your Holter monitor and results with you. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Prevent more PACs:

  • Do not have alcohol or caffeine. These can increase your PACs.
  • Do not smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can increase heart problems. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
  • Exercise as directed. Exercise helps keep your heart healthy. Ask your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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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