A sensation that the heart is racing, pounding, fluttering, or skipping a beat, often bothersome, but hardly ever a sign of heart disease.


Avoid caffeine, nicotine, cold medicines with pseudoephedrine, energy drinks, and stimulants such as cocaine or amphetamine. Reduce stress, get regular sleep, and exercise.

When to seek immediate medical care

See a doctor immediately if:

  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart rate under 45 beats per minute or over 120 at rest

When to make a doctor's appointment

Make an appointment to see a doctor if:

  • Symptom is new
  • Induced by exercise
  • Family history of sudden death or fainting

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