Medicinal Bradycardia

Author Ольга Кияница


There are drugs that can slow down cardiac activity. The development of such a pathology is defined as a medicated bradycardia. In difficult cases, the wrong treatment can end with a heart stop. Therefore, it's worth knowing which medicines should not be taken without medical supervision.

Medicinal bradycardia is a clinical sign of a pathological condition, which is a slowdown in the heartbeat. The development of pathology is necessarily associated with the intake of medicines, which can slow down the heart rate until the heart stops.

After a heart stop, the first five minutes of a person can still be restored to life without cardinal consequences, as he is in a state of clinical death. After this time, biological death develops when irreversible destructive processes begin to occur in the body.

The clinical picture of medication bradycardia depends on the dosage of the drug that caused the rhythm disorder. Also important is the age of the patient, the presence of organic pathology of the heart. It is not always possible immediately to get a doctor to treat a patient, so it's worth knowing the rules of first aid when suddenly stopping the heart.

First Aid Video. Sudden heart stop

Description of medication bradycardia

There are such drugs that, in minor doses, can cause relaxation, relieve pain, and soothe the nervous system. But it is worth taking a large dose, as bradycardia develops or even a heart stop. At the same time, drugs can be not only injectable, but also in conventional tablet forms.

Major drug groups that cause bradycardia and other types of heart palpitations:

  • potassium-containing preparations;
  • anti-burn medicine;
  • psychotropic substances;
  • vitamin complexes;
  • cardiac glycosides;
  • muscle relaxants;
  • antibiotics

Each group of medications presented has its own mechanism of action on the myocardium and the conducting system of the heart. For example, potassium is involved in an electrolyte exchange in the heart muscle, and its excess can so reduce the heartbeat that a heart stop will occur. Some antibiotics are so strong that their use disturbs normal cardiac activity, bradycardia and asystole may develop.

Symptoms of medication bradycardia

First of all, the patient pays attention to weak pulse, increased weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, poor concentration of attention. Seminumor and faint states can be observed. If you can try the pulse, then you can more accurately determine the degree of severity of the clinical picture.

  • Easy degree - Heart rate is determined at the rate of 50-60 beats / min (adult rate).
  • The average degree - heart rate in an adult is about 40-50 beats / min.
  • Severe severity - heart rate is reduced to 40 beats / min and below.


The clinical picture may be supplemented by other symptoms, if besides bradycardia, the patient has other diseases.

Causes of the appearance of medication bradycardia

Pathology is directly related to the incorrect use of a number of drugs, therefore their effect on the body can be considered the main cause of the development of medication bradycardia.

Cardiac glycosides - refer to herbal remedies, but their action is fraught with heart failure. Often used in chronic and acute forms of heart failure. Cardiac glycosides do not mix with all medications, so their use is only possible under the supervision of a doctor.

Preparations of potassium - in elevated concentrations, depress cardiac activity. To stop the heart is enough 14gr of potassium. Used to improve metabolic processes in the heart muscle, but dosage calculation should only be done with the participation of a physician.

Miorelaksants - are used for the purpose of anesthesia for relaxation of skeletal muscle, but the activity of the heart may cease. With great caution should be prescribed to patients with allergies to muscle relaxants, as the development of anaphylactic shock also affects cardiac activity.

Cure medications - besides eliminating heartburn, can cause various disorders of the rhythm, including bradycardia with further cardiac arrest. By carelessness they can be taken in large numbers by pregnant and nursing mothers, but such actions can harm not only the woman but also the child.

Diagnosis of medication bradycardia

Standard methods of research allow to establish the form of bradycardia - a sinus or a blockade of a conducting system.


First of all, electrocardiography is conducted, which shows a marked decrease in heart rate, decrease in the amplitude of the teeth, signs of blockade of the pulse. In the future, echocardiography, Holter monitoring, radiography of the chest organs can be prescribed.

Treatment and prevention of medication bradycardia

Basically symptomatic. If possible, antidote and detoxification therapy, gastric lavage. In complicated cases, patients are hospitalized. If there is a slight overdose, home treatment may be performed.

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