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Treatments

Treatment seeks to prevent a syncope recurrence. Depending on the results of your tests and the underlying cause of your syncope, your treatment may include:

  • Taking new medications, such as those for high blood pressure, or making changes to your current medications if they are found to be contributing to your syncope.
  • Wearing support stockings to improve circulation.
  • Making dietary changes such as eating meals more often, but in smaller portions; increasing salt, fluid and potassium intake; and staying away from caffeine and alcohol.
  • Being careful when shifting from sitting to standing.
  • Elevating the head of your bed while sleeping.
  • Trying to avoid triggers that may cause a fainting episode.
  • Artificial pacemaker:
    • This device may be either temporarily or permanently implanted under the skin in the chest wall. It is the most common treatment for arrhythmias that cause symptoms such as fainting.
    • The wallet-sized, battery-powered device has wires and electrodes attached. The electrodes are threaded through your veins and into your heart, while the pacemaker itself is implanted under your collarbone.
    • The pacemaker provides electrical impulses through the electrodes to regulate your heartbeat. In some cases, a dual-chamber pacemaker may be implanted. It has electrodes in both the atria and the ventricles. A traditional pacemaker only has electrodes in the ventricles.
    • When your heart rate slows, the pacemaker takes over, providing the impulses required to maintain a normal rhythm. Blood thinners may be prescribed along with the pacemaker, at least initially.
    • To watch a video about the implant procedure for a pacemaker, click here.

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-667-8800

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