Premature Atrial Contractions (PACs)

What are PACs?

Premature atrial contractions (PACs) are extra beats coming from the top chambers of your heart (atria).  

Why do people get PACs?

PACs can be caused by stress, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, electrolyte disturbances, structural heart disease, lung disease, sleep apnea, or an unknown cause.  Sometimes they occur for no reason at all.    

Are they Dangerous?


 Signs & Symptoms of PACs 

 What should I do if I’m experiencing an episode of PACs

If you’ve had this problem before and it feels similar to past ones, and you feel okay, you can do your normal activities.  Pay attention to how your body feels and rest if you need to. You can try some relaxing exercises like meditation or deep breathing. Take note of how long the problem lasts, how you feel during the episode(s), and if you’re having episodes more or less often than before. Tell your doctor about all these things when you see them next. 

Symptoms of PACs you should call your provider about:  

Symptoms of PACs to go to the ER for:
PACs should not cause an ER visit.  That said, if you are experiencing the following symptoms, you may have a different heart rhythm that is more dangerous for which you should go to the ER:  

 How is PACs Diagnosed? 

 How are Premature Atrial Contractions Treated? 

 Commonly used Medications: metoprolol, carvedilol, atenolol, propranolol, diltiazem, verapamil 

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