Long QT syndrome is a heart condition that disrupts the heart's normal flow of electrical activity. The flow of ions in and out of the heart cells via small ion channels is the mechanism that produces the heart's electrical activity. The electrocardiogram section that shows the duration of when the electrical system fires an impulse throughout the ventricles to when it fully recharges is referred to as the QT interval. In long QT syndrome, the ion channels are defective, and they cause a delay in the time it takes for the system to recharge after contracting. A longer QT interval results in an increased risk for a serious type of ventricular tachycardia and sudden cardiac death. This condition can be present at birth or acquired. Symptom control and prevention of sudden death are the primary focuses of treatment for long QT syndrome.
Taking Recommended Medication
Numerous medications may be prescribed to a patient with long QT syndrome as a preventative measure and to treat any symptoms of the condition. The most common medications used to treat long QT syndrome are beta blockers, which work to lower the heart rate and reduce the occurrence of the abnormal rhythm associated with long QT syndrome. Chemically, beta blockers work to dull the way the heart responds to a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands called adrenaline. Potassium management medications may be used to treat long QT syndrome as they can improve the recharging system of the heart. This improvement can be accomplished with potassium supplements or medicine that assists the body with the retention of potassium called spironolactone. Inherited cases of long QT syndrome, such as LQTS1, LQTS2, and LQTS3, may be treated with the use of a medication called mexiletine. Mexiletine is an anti-arrhythmic medication that works to shorten the QT interval and lower the risk of fainting, seizures, and sudden death associated with long QT syndrome. Any of these medications may be prescribed even if the patient is not experiencing physical symptoms. Taking recommended medication will help reduce an individual's risk of experiencing life-threatening complications of long QT syndrome.
Keep reading to learn more about how to treat long QT syndrome now.