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Question:

What other treatments are available for controlling atrial fib?

I am on 120 mg. of Diltiazem to slow my heart rate with Atrial fib. It is causing a lot of leg swelling which interferes with my walking. Is there any other drug with fewer side effects that you can suggest? I would appreciate your answer on this. Thanks.

Submitted by Dorothy from Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 08/24/2014

Answer:
by Domingo G. Gonzalez, Jr., MD

Beta blockers and Digoxin can be used to control heart rate individually or together. Alternatively, cardioversion can be considered. In this situation, the patient can be induced into a normal rhythm with an electrical shock and kept in a normal rhythm with medications, e.g., amiodarone, flecainide, etc. Additionally, an invasive catheter-based ablation procedure could be considered to “cure” the problem. It is best to go over the options with your cardiologist.