Supraventricular tachycardia

If you have supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), you'll usually have episodes where you feel your heart beating very quickly. Other symptoms include chest pain, dizziness, light-headedness and breathlessness.

If you have supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), you'll usually have episodes where you feel your heart beating very quickly.

Even though your heart is beating faster, the gaps between heartbeats should still be regular. If your heartbeat is fast and irregular, it's more likely that you have a different heart rhythm problem, called atrial fibrillation.

Other symptoms of SVT include:

In rare cases, fainting may be another symptom you experience as a result of a fall in blood pressure. If you do faint and experience heart palpitations (noticeable heartbeats) before the faint, you should seek medical attention straight away.

Symptoms of SVT can last for seconds, minutes, hours or longer (in rare cases). Some people have symptoms several times a day, whereas others may only experience episodes once or twice a year.

When to seek medical advice

SVT is rarely life-threatening. However, you should contact your GP as soon as possible if you experience a rapid heartbeat and any of the above symptoms because other, more serious, life-threatening conditions can have similar symptoms.

Dial 999 to request an ambulance if you experience severe chest pain or breathing difficulties and you feel faint.

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