Some AF patients are found to have a fast heart rate. If a heart rate is fast for much of the time (usually more than 100 beats per minute at rest), then there is a risk that the heart muscle may tire - this is known as ‘heart failure’.
The most common medication used to slow the heart rate are beta blockers.
For some individuals, beta blockers are not effective or cause unpleasant side-effects.
Alternative drugs, calcium channel blockers, may be considered by a clinician.
For individuals who are unable to tolerate medication, then a device called a pacemaker may be considered, following review by an arrhythmia specialist.