Q. My heart rate went up to 120 and suddenly dropped to 62. Could this be a panic attack?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Zohaib Siddiq
and medically reviewed by Dr. Chithranjali Ravichandran
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 17, 2021

Hi doctor,

I had lifted boxes up a ladder into a shelf, and after 15 to 20 minutes, my heart rate went up to 120. I stopped and sat down, then it dropped between 102 to 105, so I started to panic. I went to drink water and walk around, and it stayed above 100 for 36 minutes. It would drop to 98 for a couple of seconds and then go back up every now and again.

It is now 62. Could this be a panic attack or something else?



Welcome to

Thanks for the query.

If you do not have a previous cardiac issue and your tests are normal, then chances are in favor of a panic attack.

Another cause is deconditioning of the heart due to a less active lifestyle. Regular exercise will condition the heart, and this rise in heart rate with little exertion will go away.

Please share your echocardiography, ECG, and Holter reports.

Hi doctor,

How long do panic attacks last? Could it have kept my heart rate elevated to 103 to 105 for 1 hour even after sitting down?

What are the signs of a healthy heart?

Can lifting boxes cause your heart rate to stay above 100 in general, even if you are at rest?

Can I stop this from happening?



Welcome back to

Thanks for the query.

These last for a maximum of half-hour to 1 hour, but the heart may remain elevated for few hours.

Signs of a healthy heart and body are that heart rate remains at around 60 per minute at rest and on exertion slowly rises and again upon rest suddenly drops. In the same way, blood pressure remains around 120/80 at rest, rises with exertion, and again drops with rest.

Yes, heart rate may remain high in the following cases:

1. When you are not conditioned for exertion, you are not used to such exertion.

2. Suffer from anemia.

3. Have a fever or infection.

4. Have fear or anxiety.

5. Have a thyroid problem.

6. Have cardiac issues (many causes).

7. Have dehydration.

If your heart rate remains more than 100 on rest or irregular, then have an ECG done to see the rhythm.

Check your blood pressure.

You are overweight, cut the weight by regular exercise and dietary modifications.

For further risk stratification, get your fasting lipid profile done.

Do you have symptoms such as shortness of breath etc.?

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