Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Adenosine for Fast Heart Rates
Adenosine reduces the normal flow of the
electrical impulses through the
atrioventricular (AV) node of the heart.
Adenosine is used in the hospital to try to restore a
normal heart rate and rhythm when you are having an episode of
Adenosine is always given by a doctor
while you are hooked up to a heart monitor. It is given through a vein
(intravenous, or IV). Adenosine works very quickly and lasts only a short
period of time (less than 1 minute).
may be used to diagnose tachycardia or to help find the location of the
fast heart rate.
Adenosine can slow or stop a rapid heart rate if the problem is caused by an abnormal
electrical pathway in the heart.footnote 1 Adenosine will not work if the fast heart rate
has a different cause. Adenosine may only slow your heart rate for a short time
if you also have
atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter.
Adenosine is given in a hospital. Your doctor will watch you closely for any side effects.
Possible side effects include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
Adenosine is a quick-acting,
short-term therapy intended to convert the fast heart rhythm of a
supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) back to a normal
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Drugs for cardiac arrhythmias (2007). Treatment Guidelines From The Medical Letter, 5(58): 51–58.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, ElectrophysiologySpecialist Medical ReviewerJohn M. Miller, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015
Current as of:
February 20, 2015
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & John M. Miller, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital.