Font Size
A
A
A

Palpitations


Heart palpitations are an uncomfortable awareness of the heart beating rapidly or irregularly. Palpitations can be caused by stress, fatigue, or overuse of alcohol or stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine, and they usually are not a serious problem.

Heart palpitations can feel like:

  • There is a pounding or fluttering in the chest.
  • The heart is doing a flip-flop.
  • The heart is skipping or missing a beat.
  • The heart is racing.
  • There is an extra heartbeat.
  • The heart is beating in the neck.

If palpitations persist or occur with fainting, near fainting, or lightheadedness, they may be a sign of a heart problem.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid Messenger, MD
Last RevisedApril 18, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit Healthwise.org

© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.






Medical Dictionary