Cardiovascular disease

Cardiac arrest

(Sudden cardiac death)

About Cardiac arrest

The heart has an internal electrical system that controls the rhythm of the heartbeat. Problems can cause abnormal heart rhythms, called arrhythmias. There are many types of arrhythmia. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or it can stop beating. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart develops an arrhythmia that causes it to stop beating. This is different than a heart attack, where the heart usually continues to beat but blood flow to the heart is blocked.

There are many possible causes of SCA. They include coronary heart disease, physical stress, and some inherited disorders. Sometimes there is no known cause for the SCA.

Without medical attention, the person will die within a few minutes. People are less likely to die if they have early defibrillation. Defibrillation sends an electric shock to restore the heart rhythm to normal. You should give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to a person having SCA until defibrillation can be done.

If you have had an SCA, an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) reduces the chance of dying from a second SCA.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Top Medications for Cardiac arrest according to our users

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  • All men

  • Brand (generic)% of users who said medication was worth it
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  • All women

  • Brand (generic)% of users who said medication was worth it
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All Medications for Cardiac arrest

  • Anaphylaxis > Alpha agonist, Beta agonist

    • Epipen
      (Epinephrine)
      Prescription only

      Epipen (Epinephrine) is a life-saving medication for severe allergic reactions. Just make sure you know how to give an injection before it's needed.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Injection
  • Anti-arrhythmic > Class III

    • Amiodarone
      Prescription only

      Cordarone (Amiodarone) is an option to treat heart rate problems when other medicines don't work, but it can take a few weeks to work and there's a lot of serious side effects.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill

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