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Treating Syncope: Prevention

If you have been told that your fainting is not caused by a heart problem, you can help prevent fainting. And you can learn to respond to your body’s warning signs.


For your safety and the safety of others, limit your driving as instructed.


Woman lying down on her side with eyes closed.If You Feel Faint

  • Know the warning signs of fainting: weakness, nausea, dimmed vision, sweating, lightheadedness, or a fast heartbeat.

  • Don’t ignore or fight any signs that you may faint.

  • Lie down until you feel better. Your symptoms should go away in about 20 to 30 minutes.

Small Changes Make a Big Difference

  • Sit near the aisle so you can leave if you feel faint.

  • Get up slowly after you have been lying down.

  • If prescribed, wear special stockings to keep blood from pooling in your legs.

  • If directed, add salt to your food to raise your blood pressure. Don’t skip meals.

  • Don’t stand for long. Shop when lines are short.

  • Drink water often, especially when exercising during hot weather.

The Role of Medications

Medications sometimes can play a role in both causing and preventing syncope.

Your medications may be changed or reduced. Blood pressure medications may cause fainting. Certain combinations of medications may also make you faint. And some nonprescription medications, herbs, and teas may cause symptoms, too. Tell your doctor about any medication you’re taking and if you started using a new medication recently.

Medications may be prescribed. Taking certain medications can help prevent fainting. Your doctor can discuss these with you.


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