Arrhythmias occur when there is a disruption in how the electrical signal develops or moves throughout the heart. Factors that can cause arrhythmias include:
- The heart's natural pacemaker (sinoatrial node) develops an abnormal rate or rhythm.
- Injury or illness makes it difficult or impossible for electrical signals to move through the heart. Injury or illness may occur due to:
- Electrical stimulation arises from abnormal areas of the heart, other than the sinoatrial node.
- Stimulants—Makes the heart beat faster even though there is no need.
- Electrolyte abnormalities—Can increase or decrease the ability for muscles to contract and change ability of nerves to send signals.
External factors that are associated with arrhythmias include:
- Illegal stimulants, such as cocaine and methedrine
- Diet pills
Some over-the-counter medications, such as cough and
- Certain prescription medications, such as those that treat cardiovascular disease, asthma, depression, or thyroid disorders.