How Can I Reduce Tachycardia Immediately?

Reviewed on 4/21/2022
Heart rate monitor showing a high heart rate (tachycardia)
Tachycardia causes a high heart rate. Reduce a racing heart rate with tips such as coughing, gagging, taking, a cold shower, the Valsalva maneuver, meditation, yoga, deep breathing, relaxation techniques, and staying hydrated.

In many cases, no treatment is needed for tachycardia and the heart will return to a normal heart rate on its own. 

As long as you have not been diagnosed with a heart problem or other underlying condition that causes tachycardia and requires medical treatment, home remedies may help reduce a racing heart rate, such as:

  • Stimulate the vagus nerve, a nerve that connects the brain to the heart to help synchronize the heart and the brain
    • Cough
    • Gag
    • Take a cold shower
    • Valsalva maneuver
      • Bear down as you would during a bowel movement
      • Inhale and hold your breath, like when you’re stifling a sneeze
      • Breathe in for 5-8 seconds, hold that breath for 3-5 seconds, then exhale slowly
      • Repeat several times
      • This will increase aortic pressure which will help reduce heart rate
  • Practice stress reduction
    • Mediation
    • Yoga 
    • Deep breathing 
    • Relaxation techniques
  • Consume foods and drinks with electrolytes and stay hydrated
    • Magnesium: found in foods such as dark leafy greens and dairy products
    • Potassium: found in foods such as potatoes, bananas, and avocados
    • Calcium: found in foods such as dark leafy greens and dairy products

To help prevent tachycardia: 

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Avoid stimulants that can lead to palpitations
    • Caffeine
    • Tobacco (don’t smoke)
    • Illegal drugs 
    • Some medications (don’t stop taking any prescribed medication without first talking to your doctor)  
  • Limit or avoid alcohol
  • Eat regularly to avoid low blood sugar 
  • Get enough sleep

What Is Tachycardia?

Tachycardia is the medical term for high heart rate. Tachycardia can be dangerous if it is too high. In general, a fast resting heart rate for adults is over 100 beats per minute (bpm). 

According to the American Heart Association, a normal resting heart rate is between 60 (beats per minute) and 100 (beats per minute) for people aged 15 years and older. 

What Causes Tachycardia?

Common everyday causes of tachycardia (fast heartbeat) that may not always be a cause for concern may include:  

Serious conditions that can cause tachycardia (fast heart beat include: 

Call 911 or get to a hospital’s emergency department (do not drive yourself) if you have an unusually fast heart rate accompanied by symptoms such as: 

Reviewed on 4/21/2022
Image Source: iStock Images