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Drug to steady heartbeat

WHEN the chambers of the heart don't beat in synchrony, a rhythm disturbance is said to exist. One of the most common of these involves the upper chambers or atria and is called atrial fibrillation. Using an electrical jolt called cardioversion, doctors are often able to re-establish the correct rhythm.

According to a report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology for July, researchers in Germany have now found-that a beta-blocker drug called metroprolol a commonly prescribed beta can help keep a normal rhythm in patients after cardioversion

Lead study author Dr. Volker Kuhlkamp of Eberhard- Karls-Universitat. Tubingen, explained that his team's findings suggest that "a safe drug like metroprolol is probably as effective as typical anti-arrhythmic atrial after cardioversion. He pointed out that metroprolol has another plus: "It improves the prognosis of patients after heart attack and in patients with heart failure Especially In these patients typical anti-arrhythmic drugs worsen the prognosis".

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