Treatment of Syncope

The treatment of syncope depends on the type of syncope, however, can include medication or device therapy.

Treatment for Syncope

Treatment is dependent on the cause of the syncope (if identified). Syncope is often transient in nature and therefore classification/ treatment goals may be difficult and often time-consuming to implement.


Cardiac Syncope:

True cardiac syncope causes may be identified through simple diagnostic tools such as ECG’s which may uncover. Implantable Cardiac Devices have the capacity to identify and treat arrhythmias automatically. They also can transmit cardiac information remotely to the cardiology clinic for review.


There are many different types of cardiac devices that may be utilised depending on the individual patient presentation:

  • Bradycardia (slow heart rate) – which may be treated with a permanent pacemaker, which maintains a minimum rate for most patients
  • Tachycardia (fast heart rates) – may be treated by either medication to slow the heart rates or implantation of an Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator, which delivers treatment when rapid hearts rates are detected.
  • Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rates) – may be treated with a catheter ablation, which aims to stop the electrical circuit within the heart using catheters inserted usually in a cardiac catheter lab.
  • Implantable Loop Recorders – are often used in patients who may require ongoing cardiac monitoring for symptoms that occur infrequently. These monitors may be used for up to 3 years and have the capacity to transmit information regarding a patients heart rates if they have a syncopal event1.

Electrophysiologist, Dr John Meulet discusses how he would approach a patient scenario regarding diagnosis and treatment of syncope. “We need to allay their anxiety, we need to get the diagnosis, and we need to manage them appropriately and efficiently.” Learn more in the video discussion below:



Neurogenic Syncope:

Treatment for the most frequent presentation of syncope may include:

  • Increased fluid and salt intake
  • Physical counterpressure manoeuvres: such as leg crossing and hand wringing may be helpful if patients suffer a “pre-syncope” period
  • Psychological support to avoid / manage the extreme emotional responses that may precipitate syncope
  • Medications such as beta-blockers, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and mineralocorticoids have all been studies with varied results2.

Other causes of syncope, such as seizures and endocrine, are referred to the relevant specialist once identified and treated as per common clinical guidelines.


Patient Disclaimer: All content on the Hope For Hearts site is created and published online for general information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Please see your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.