There are many different drugs used to treat arrhythmias and each drug may affect different people in different ways. Most serious arrhythmias are treated with an implant- able device these days, but some patients may require medication in addition to reduce the need for the use of this device.
Anti-arrhythmic drugs are used to suppress rather than cure your arrhythmia, so you should expect to take the drug indefinitely.
The treatment you are prescribed is often a compromise between the risks associated with your arrhythmia and the side effects of the treatment. This may mean a situation where you suffer occasional mild arrhythmia in order to avoid constant, unpleasant side effects.
Before starting medication your doctor will explain to you how many tablets you need to take, and any possible side effects. These side effects will vary from patient to patient, and it is important to remember that most people get few or no side effects.
If you do have any side effects that you feel are not tolerable, contact your doctor BEFORE stopping any medication, as you may then be offered another drug that suits you better. You should not stop taking the tablets suddenly without contacting your doctor as this may result in a ‘relapse’ worsening of your arrhythmia.
If in doubt, contact your GP, cardiologist or arrhythmia nurse.