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What stimulants trigger atrial fibrillation?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
Different foods, beverages, medications, and recreational drugs are stimulants and can trigger atrial fibrillation. The most common offenders include:

- Over-the-counter cold, cough, and sinusitis medications that contain pseudoephedrine. This ingredient is known to cause the development of arrhythmias.
- Caffeine can cause your heartbeat to speed up your nervous system. Caffeine is a known trigger of atrial fibrillation. If you mix caffeine with a cold medicine, you have an increased risk of problems.
- Nicotine is another stimulant that can make your heart speed up. Over time, it may cause arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation.
- Recreational drugs and diet pills can also speed up your heart and increase the chance of atrial fibrillation. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.