Rate Control Strategy Medications

Slows how fast the heart beats during AFib and it also helps to control high blood pressure.


Also called Cardizem or Tiazac, is a type of medicine called a calcium channel blocker. It can also be used to treat high blood pressure or angina (chest pain). It helps keep the heart from beating too fast, but it does not put the heart into a normal rhythm.

  • Common Dose: 60 – 120 mg twice daily or 120 – 360mg slow release once a day.
  • Common Side Effects: Dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, tired feeling, nausea, or upset stomach.
  • Special Consideration: Grapefruit or grapefruit juice may interact with Cardizem. It can cause an individual to sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing or use sunscreen when going outdoors.


Also called Lopressor or Toprol XL, is a type of medicine called a beta blocker. There are many beta blockers but this is most commonly prescribed. It helps keep the heart from beating too fast, but it does not put the heart into a normal rhythm.

  • Common Dose: 25mg, 50mg, 100mg or 200mg. It is usually taken once or twice a day.
  • Common Side Effects: Feeling tired when first start taking Metoprolol. Dizziness or lightheadedness, dry mouth, gas or bloating.
  • Special Consideration: Tell your doctor if you have asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema. It may also cause your blood sugar level to be higher.


Also called Lanoxin or Digitek, is a medicine commonly used to treat AFib or Atrial flutter. This medication is used to increase the strength of the heart’s squeeze and improve symptoms.

  • Common Dose: 0.125mg, 0.25mg, or 0.5mg It is usually taken once daily.
  • Common Side Effects: Slower heart rate. Feeling dizziness or drowsiness, depression or headache.
  • Special Consideration: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat or chest pain. Call your doctor right away.

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