Chemical cardioversion uses medication to correct an abnormal heartbeat. To begin the procedure, a drug called an "antiarrhythmic" will be given to a patient through an IV. After this is done, the patient's heartbeats will be closely watched on an EKG monitor by the doctor and the staff. If the drug changes the heartbeat into a normal electrical pattern or rhythm, this is called "conversion". Following conversion into a normal rhythm the patient will be monitored closely.
The actual length of the procedure will vary depending on the circumstances, but it usually takes 30 minutes or longer.