What drugs can cause atrial fibrillation?

Are you feeling your heart racing like it’s having a marathon while lying down watching TV? Do you feel lightheaded and dizzy for no apparent reason? Well, I’m no doctor, but those might be signs of atrial fibrillation. But wait, what is atrial fibrillation exactly?

Atria- what?

In layman terms, atrial fibrillation happens when the two small chambers in your heart (the ‘atria’) beat rapidly and uncontrollably, causing an irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia.

Now that we’ve established just how complicated our hearts are let’s delve into the underlying causes of this medical condition.

Causes Of Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation can happen to anyone at any time in their lives. However, there are several risk factors that may trigger its onset:


Just our luck right! Some people have inherited genes that make them more susceptible to developing atrial fibrillation.

These genetically linked cases alone could account for up to 30% of all patients with AFib.

Age And Gender

Apparently advancing age has ZERO benefits! As we get older, the chances of developing AFib increase significantly…

And if you’re female living in America – yikes: Studies suggest women living in affluent countries like states are at higher risk compared to men due majorly because these countries generally record a high calorie diet owing mainly to consumption of fast foods; obesity is also said likely responsible as well..

However “women still live longer than men on average” says Dr.Nobody ‘if both groups lived same timeline span though …….sheesh!’⭐😄.

Other Medical Conditions 💊💉🩺✅

Several pre-existing conditions may predispose individuals towards development of Afib. These include:

  • Autonomic nervous system disorders and adrenal gland tumors
  • Congenital heart disease or other structural abnormalities in the heart
  • Coronary artery disease, Heart attacks, past surgeries done on/around one’s hearts(sarcastic tone)
  • Hyperthryoidism & Hypothyroidism
  • Obstructive sleep apnea.

Substances Exposure

Another cause of AFib could be exposure to specific medications or drugs.

Ever taken pain relievers for that dull headache? Or a glass of wine with dinner to relax after work? These items as benign as they may seem play a great role interaction within our body ecoysystem sometimes causing atrial fibrillation(afib).

Here are potential culprits:

Drugs And Medications That Can Cause Atrial Fibrillation

🚫Disclaimer: STRICTLY no bashing against these substances because most reactions vary from individuals; what applies at this stage is its just good practice to know.

“Wait, so you’re telling me meds can actually mess up my heart rhythm?”

Yes absolutely, drugs have all sorts of effects on the body including changing how your heartbeat works.
Here are some examples;

Sudafed (decongestant)

I know… it always seems like coughs and colds come at the worst possible times! However caution should be taken not to overuse sudafed as decongestants could exacerbate Afib symptoms.

Theophylline (bronchodilator)

If you’ve ever had asthma then you may have used medicines suchas “Theophylline”, I mean who wouldn’t take any chance of getting better when afflicted by wheezing pathway blockages!

However there is now evidence pointing directly to links between taking an excessive amountat/dosage of bronchodilators with risks for developing Afibs.

Inappropriate Dosing Amount Correct Dosages
Theophylline Advair,Dulera
Ipratropium and albuterol Mometasone fluticasone


Not even our antibiotic superhero is invincible to risks of causing Atrial Fibrillation.

  • According to the ‘Journal of Pharmacy Practice’, antibiotics such as Erythromycin, azithromycin or quinidine can cause drug-induced atrial fibrillation.

Other Substances That Can Cause Atrial Fibrillation

Other than known medicines there are a few other substances that too may trigger for AFib. These include:

Energy Drinks 😵‍💫🥤

Eve always thought energy drinks were supposed to be good for keeping you energized throughout the day?

That’s only partly true because overdosing on these energy drinks could put undue stress on heart muscles making it much desirable for symptoms like palpitations and lightheadedness which leads invariably develops into Afib.

In fact according to “Data sources: DAWN, RADARS”,(Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), Researched Abuse Diversion and the Addiction-Related Surveillance System (RADARSSystem)) among all cases received between 2005–2011 energy drink consumption was associated with more than twice as many cardiac events including arrhythmia’s compared drugs designed speciallyintended for cardiac therapy.[source unknown].

Alcohol 🍻🚬

Look..we get it…drinking alcohol feels like one of those things that makes everything better- whether used socially or alone so its not surprising people wouldn’t consider looking at factors what actually might happen after they run dry out bottles at clubs have house parties unnoticeably during their adult years😏.

But did you know drinking excessive amounts has disastrous impact on your heart health?

Heavy drinkers are at higher risk of developing AFib compared to non-drinkers, and the binge drinking culture in some locations often also account for hospital visits such as incidents experiencing palpitation or extreme fatigue resulting from atrial fibrillation.

Caffeine ☕

Oh no…not caffeine! How is anyone supposed to survive Mondays without coffee? 😫

While MODERATE intake of this substance isnt problematic per se- however It is highly recommended that people with Afib should limit it their consumption very much even when coffee decaf because stopping totally can lead sudden cravings which eventually makes way possible effects like racing heartbeat found in conditions like atrial fib.

There you have it, folks – a word on what could cause Atrial Fibrillation. Some of these substances may be more surprising than others (looks accusingly at energy drinks) but just always remember: everything in moderation folks!

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