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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Palpitations?

Symptoms of palpitations include feelings that your heart is:

  • Skipping a beat
  • Fluttering
  • Beating too hard or too fast

You may have these feelings in your chest, throat, or neck. They can occur during activity or even when you're sitting still or lying down.

Palpitations often are harmless, and your heart is working normally. However, these feelings can be a sign of a more serious problem if you also:

  • Feel dizzy or confused
  • Are light-headed, think you may faint, or do faint
  • Have trouble breathing
  • Have pain, pressure, or tightness in your chest, jaw, or arms
  • Feel short of breath
  • Have unusual sweating

Your doctor may have already told you that your palpitations are harmless. Even so, see your doctor again if your palpitations:

  • Start to occur more often or are more noticeable or bothersome
  • Occur with other symptoms, such as those listed above

Your doctor will want to check whether your palpitations are the symptom of a heart problem, such as an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

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Heart Palpitations Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Heart Palpitations, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.


 
July 01, 2011 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.