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The Pro-Arrhythmia Effects of Some Drugs Use to Treat Arrhythmias
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The Pro-Arrhythmia Effects of Some Drugs Use to Treat Arrhythmias

I have had episodes of paroxsysmal (no underlyng disease, self-resolving) for 15 years.

About three years ago I was given the "Pill in the Pocket" meds to be used at onset. Rhytmol and Atenolo stopped the epidoes at 4 hours flat where previously they'd lasted 1-=12 hours.

When my episodes got be be every two weeks, my doc put me on "blanket suppression" drugs. That is, these would be taken daily and, hopefully, smother new episodes altogether.

The combo of Flecainide and Digoxin were begun on a Saturday. Three hours later I was in AF and it last 24+ hours. Since then, I have had 4 more episodes two weeks. They all last 24+ hours.

Has anyone else had anti-arrhythmia drugs actually PRODUCE arrhythmias?
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Avatar_n_tn
But how can one prove this?  All I can tell you is what my experience has been (was).  This doesn't mean my cardio agrees with it.

I started on Rythmol sr 325mg, twice per day.  It stopped my PVCs cold; the effect was immediate;  I could not believe it.  This lasted for about three months.  All of a sudden the PVCs came back and  they got worse shortly (about an hour) after I took Rythmol.  This went on for about a week, with each subsequent day getting worse.  I concluded that Rythmol was no longer working and aggravating the problem.

At another time the doctor wanted me to try flecainide; he advised me that if it was effective the results would be noticed within an hour.  About an hour later my heart started becoming more and more erratic.  This experience was repeated 12 hours later.  I threw this medicine away.

Even though neither med produced an arrhythmia in the formal definition of such, they produced erratic irregularity beyond what I experienced without them.

Here's a link you might want to check out:

http://www.askapatient.com/viewrating.asp?drug=19151&name=RYTHMOL
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97628_tn?1204465633
From what I understand anti arryhtmics (especially the stronger ones) can indeed cause dangerous arrhythmias.
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Avatar_n_tn
It even says so on the side effects warning. These drugs can give you arrhytmias or make them worse.
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Avatar_n_tn
Many thanks.

Yes, it is hard to tell conclusively. On the other hand,
I have to give some credit to "proximate cause" and these meds have "guilty" written all over them.

I may wean myself but I am not sure....

Thanks for the information. It really helps.
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Avatar_n_tn
yes I was on one of the "safer ones".........Toporal XL and my lone afib that was first caused by only intense lifting in the gym now became more frequent in episodes when I took the medication......

It also gave me a slew of PVC's PAC's you name it......dizziness, shortness of breath, even an awful feeling in my chest, arms and legs.

I've been weaning off it going on 3 weeks and all symptoms are continuing slowly to subside from it..........Back when I was still on it.....my cardiologist tried switching to another medication a channel blocker and I took one dose of that stuff and just wanted to die on the spot......took it one day and never touched it again........went back to the Toporal on lower doseage and then weaned off of it....

I have the afib under control during exercise by completely changing my routine and getting the intensity out of it......but the medication almost drove me to bring of insanity from the horrible symptoms and side effects along with the seemly unpredictable episodes of afib it produced in me......

I'm convinced to do anything I need to do first with my lifestyle changes in activities and diet before I ever try medication again.........

I seem to be sensative to medication in general......as I'm allegric to penecillin and sulfa drugs which are universally safe for most folks....

Everyone's different but medication for controlling the heart now scares the **** out of me.....
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been on flecanide now for several years along with digoxin and several other heart drugs.  It is a known side effect of some of the anti arrhythmic drugs to actually cause arrhythmias.  From my  own reading about this drug there is a warning that comes with it, to use it only on arrhythmias that have not been able to be controlled any other way.  Hopefully you have already been taken off this drug and are using some other anti-arrhythmia medication.

Good Luck!
Teachem
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Avatar_f_tn
Penicillin and sulfa are two of the most common meds for allergic reactions.

I've been told and have read that anti-arryhthmics require a second medication rather than being given alone. I didn't read further on that since when I brought the issue up w/my cardiologist about weaning off Toprol and Rythmol to a "pill in the pocket" approach he explained that in my situation the Rythmol was being used to stabilize my heart rhythm and the Toprol was needed to slow my heart rate.

I have COPD so much exertion does increase my heart rate. Interestingly, my arrhythmia also has always occurred AFTER exertion when I am just sitting at rest at the 'puter, watching TV, etc. Due to my COPD I have a Nonin Onyx finger oximeter for spot checking my 02 saturation. It also reads and indicates current heart rate so I can see when my HR is high and when it is bouncing all over the place if I check.
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