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Will these heart palpitations that were triggered by cocaine use go awa...
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Will these heart palpitations that were triggered by cocaine use go away? Please help.

First, let me give you a bit of background information. I am a 21 year old male and I have been using cocaine for about 1 year. I would consider my use as recreational. Over the past year there would be months where I would not even touch the drug. Then, months when I was using, I would do about 6 lines on just one day of the week and wouldnt touch it for at least another week. However, this month, I have used once a week for 4 weeks. This is where my problem has started....

Last wednesday after being out almost all night using cocaine and drinking alcohol, I came home and began coming off of the drug. The next day, at about 5 pm, my heart rate shot up without warning to 120 beats per minute. Needless to say, I was freaked out but decided to wait it out and eventually it went down to 80 beats per minute.

However, every once in a while, I will think about it and it can cause the heart to go back up to the 120 beats per minute. I decided to go to the emergency room where they gave me a EKG and did some blood and urine work. They said the EKG showed an abnormal rhythm with my heart. The blood and urine work actually showed up negative for cocaine and everything else just 4 days after having used.

I left the emergency room with a diagnosis from the ER doctor. He said I have heart palpitations. They also told me that the effects of the cocaine could still be effecting my system even though blood and urine showed up negative for cocaine. It has been about 6 days since I used cocaine. I feel like I have swallowed a bunch of diet pills. I feel drained.

I am hoping that my heart palpitations will eventually stop. If not, I will be getting referred to a specialist to have an echogram done on my heart.

Please, if anybody has any insight on this matter, please help. Will my heart palpiations stop? Will the effects eventually leave my system? Did I just get a bad batch of cocaine? I'm desperate for help.

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Avatar_f_tn
Do not worry, it just making things worst. You stopped, that is the main thing. You are only 21. Be happy it happened to you now and not later in your life when your heart muscle could have got a damaged. If you need an ultrasound, fine it won’t harm you; at least you will even know more about your heart. It is a fun experience! Good luck and congratulation to you: on not using more cocaine! Good for you! Spend that money on nice things for yourself, you would waste on the thing.:)  
You will be OK! Let us know!
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370280_tn?1198659481
I have a similar experience that might help you. I'm 36 yof, and still feel the affects of drug abuse from my teens. I was on cocaine/crack for a year and then went on a 3-day binge when I had a sudden onset of severe palpitation that dropped me to my knees. I was 17 and I thought I was going to die. Scared to death, I went to the ER, they did all the tests and told me to quit using or I'll die, that he had seen people in autopsies from my drug of choice and explained the obvious damage to the internal organs.  I never touched drugs again. The doctor said he thought I had experienced palpitations or even a minor heart attack, but they weren't too concerned as I recall, like the attitude was "Dumb teenager, you'll live."

The first year after I quit I started having severe anxiety attacks which included palpitations, albiet minor compared to that night, hallucinations started in a few years later and breathing troubles. They come and go throughout the years, but it's a part of my bad choices and I realize that the only power I have is to make good choices for my future. You are being given a chance to live and hopefully have a good life with minimal damage if you stop now. Good luck and take this wake up call as your get of jail free card. You might not get another.
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61536_tn?1340701763
Hi there.  Palpitations can be scary, even for those of us who are told they're perfectly benign.  My worry about you is that cocaine does stress your heart out.  I'm glad you'll be having the echo, and I hope everything is okay.

As to whether or not they'll stop, the very nature of palpitations seems to be their unpredictability.  Cocaine will not help matters.  Your heart is giving you a warning, hopefully before any irreversible damage, and I hope you'll use this chance to stop using.  Sometimes people just need that scary wake up call.  Sadly, some don't get it in time.  Please, use yours wisely.

Best wishes to you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't see anywhere that he said he had quit using forever, unfortunately.  Once they get addicted, it is almost impossible to stop permanently.  You don't have to use every day to be addicted, I understand.  To the OP, people have been known to DIE with only one use.  I think you can get a rapid rate and constricted coronaries and can lead to massive heart attack and death.  And I am not kidding.
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Avatar_f_tn
Maggie , I am a mind reader. Haven’t you realized yet? ;)

You did quit, right xstalkrx ? I have a fate in you!
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370280_tn?1198659481
You said it is almost impossible to stop permanently? I used for a year from age 16 to 17 and never touched it again, that was 20 years ago. You do have to change a great deal of your life like your friends, your life habits and why you started in the first place, so I'm not saying what you say is entirly wrong. It's not an easy process, but I find your sweeping "once an addict always an addict" type statement discouraging for someone who is newly realizing his own mortality.
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Avatar_m_tn
HAHA!  No, I will never touch it again.  I only used about 2 or 3 times a month for a year as it was.  There would be some months where I wouldnt touch it at all.

But recently, in the month of december...I used every friday.

As an update, I do feel a lot better.  I don't have the anxiety that I once had and I am gaining my weight back.

However, the palpitations do come and go throughout the day.  There has yet to be a perfect day.  I am still afraid to exercise as well.  My grandparents are trying to find insurance for me so that I can go to the doctor and cardiologist to have some more extensive work done.
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Avatar_n_tn
I remember when I was 19 I smoked weed and had a horrible panic attack.  My heart rate skyrocketed up to 140-150ish and I was so freaked out I sustained it for hours on end.  Eventually my heart rate went back to normal and I was released from the hospital.

Over the next year or so I'd have palpitations where my heart rate would increase in the 120-130 area throughout the day.  During some panic attacks my heart rate temporarily skyrocketed to over 200.

Four years later I'm still here.  I started eating only healthy foods and I exercise regularly.  My palpitations have more or less gone away and I haven't had a panic attack in months.

If the doctors have not found anything physically wrong with your heart and you're satisfied with the tests they have done you might have an anxiety/panic disorder, you'd be surprised how many panic disorders are started by drug abuse.
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Avatar_f_tn
I worked at a hospital for several yrs. and a few times young men in their early twenties were brought in who had strokes.  I had no clue that cocaine/heroin can cause a stroke until a Neurosonologist told me that your BP when experiencing the "cocaine high" spikes in some people way beyond 200 syst. and even in young people it can cause serious problems especially when they are shooting up frequently and the BP spikes that high frequently, for some on a daily basis over a period of time.

Lots of them came in with severe arrhythmias, panic attacks, symptoms of a heart attack as in severe chest pain. All promised they'd never take cocaine or heroin again if they will come out alive from these horrible symptoms they were having.

If I were you I would stop shooting up or sniffing this stuff or you might regret it some day big time.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I just went to the gym to try things out again.  I didnt get the results I wanted...

I ran at a very slow 12 minute mile pace and my heart rate stayed around 170 beats per minute.  That's a lot higher than it used to be.  More alarmingly to me....It took 30 minutes or so for it to come all the way back down to my normal 72.  It hovered around 120 for a good 15 minutes.  Freaked me out.  NO shortness of breath...I went to the fire station just now because it freaked me out and they said my blood pressure was slightly high... 135 over 96.  Other than that, they said everything on my chest EKG looked great.

What is the chance that I actually damaged my heart permanently with this drug use?  What do all the numbers point to?  At rest my blood pressure is 132 over 75 and my resting pulse is anywhere between 68-72.  

Oh god I hope this goes away.  I wont be able to live without being able to workout and run.....Id rather die. Seriously.
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329165_tn?1385201516
Hi there.  I am glad to see that you have stopped using Cocaine and hopefully, after experiencing Tachycardia, you will never touch it again!!!!

A resting pulse of 60-80 is normal.  Anything above 100 is called Tachycardia.  Try getting a prescription for a BETA BLOCKER.  That will bring your BP down and slow your heart rate down, even while exercising.  If it doesn't work, then their is something wrong with your heart and you should go for a stress ECG and Echo at a Cardiologist.

Good luck and let us know if the Beta blockers helped.
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Avatar_n_tn
What you are describing sounds exactly like my anxiety.  When I was anxious I could simply walk and my heart rate would be 130-140.  When I was not anxious my heart rate would be at a much lower resting pace.

Anxiety has a profound effect on how quickly your heart beats.  Get your heart checked out - if the tests come back negative you most likely have a panic/anxiety condition.
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329165_tn?1385201516
I don't agree with RideTheWalrus.  I believe that you get SYMPTOMS first, then you start to PANIC about it and just make your symptoms worse.

I believe that all our Heart sufferers get anxious/panic at some stage, but it is because of some kind of a symptome and the fact that you only have 1 heart and without it you are in big trouble!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
oh god i am so worried...if this will keep me from working out at the intensity I once did.....oh man....
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329165_tn?1385201516
I am almost dead sure that a Beta-blocker will really help you to lower your BP and to bring your heart rate down again.  Then nothing should be keeping you from working out as you normally did.

but, if you develop symptoms or still get Tachy, then you should seek medical advice.
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Avatar_m_tn
my blood pressure and pulse are PERFECT until I start working out or doing physical activity.
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329165_tn?1385201516
A normal stress heart rate is 130.  If I were you I would schedule an appointment with a Cardiologist, just to make sure there are no permanent damage or something else that's wrong.
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Avatar_m_tn
it is 130am ... my cardiologist appointment is at 930 am.....

i cant sleep.  i am paranoid now that I might just die in my sleep or something.
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Avatar_m_tn
im 21 years old....i hope i dont have to be on heart medication for the rest of my life.

god I hope this passes...
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329165_tn?1385201516
oh my goodness!  it is 09h31 in South Africa!

if you don't sleep until your appointment today, you might be so tired that you pass out during the stress test!  try to go to bed now and try a bit of self-hipnoses:  close your eyes, breath deeply.  In through the nose, out through the mouth.  Then tell you body to relax:  start with toes, then work your way up and you will see that you will be much more relaxed and maybe even able to sleep a bit.

Let me know what Cardio said.
Will be thinking off you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I have/had the same problem with working out and bp spiking and heart rate skyrocketing. I have no answers, and when i was around your age, I  didn't want to go on meds the rest of my life either.

It's late,... I hope you're asleep right now and don't even see this post till after your appt. Remember, there are bigger things in life than having to take a pill everyday. There are people with bigger problems who would be grateful if all they had to do was take a pill everyday.

However, I understand the worry.. heck, it's 4:38am where I am and I can't sleep... insomnia... it sucks. Take a deep breath... you've been given a wake up call so there must be a greater purpose to you being here.
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Avatar_n_tn
"I don't agree with RideTheWalrus.  I believe that you get SYMPTOMS first, then you start to PANIC about it and just make your symptoms worse."

Not always.  Say your resting heart rate is normally 60, but your nervous because of what you've been through.  You take your heart rate and find it's 86.  The thought occurs in your mind 'Why is it that high?'  'What if the doctors missed something?'  You dwell on it and release adrenaline which causes your body to increase your heart rate more.

Adrenaline prepares your body for flight or fight and even small amounts raise it.  Now you take your heart rate again and find it's 104.  You now think there's something seriously wrong with your heart.  Your body releases more adrenaline which intensifies things and eventually culminates as a panic attack.

During panic attacks I've had heart rates in the 200-area.  I had every test under the sun done.  Stress test, echocardiogram, multiple EKGs, blood tests, all came back normal.

I'm not saying don't go to your doctor, that would be stupid.  At first I went to many doctors and had plenty of tests done.  Get your heart checked up thoroughly, if there's nothing wrong with it then you might be like me.

I went to the ER because of a drug trip which kick started my palpitations as well.  My situation is eerily similar, that's why I write this...

http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-symptoms.shtml
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Avatar_m_tn
Echocardiogram normal.
Stress test normal...except that my heart rate didnt recover as quickly as he had hoped.

I'll be taking Cardizem LA and he anticipates that I will not have to take this medication forever.  He says that usually after 6 months, most people are fine.

Any experience with this medication?
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144586_tn?1284669764
Hello. People die from using cocaine. Exactly what part of that isn't exactly clear? I would like to scare you and say you have endangered yourself foever, but the cocaine will work it's way out of the system. The palpitations suggest your heart has little tolerance of safety for this substance. It isn't just a "fast" heartrate. The heart doesn't fill with blood properly when it beats so quickloy., And the probability of ventricular fibrilation increases dramatically. That means you will end up on an autopsy table with your scalp reflected over your face and a strykler saw used to saw around your skull with a "V" notch in each side. Then they remove your brain, weigh it ans section it. The brain is replaced with crumpled newspaper. Oh, and they slit your scrotum and remove your testical's. If you think going through that is a great idea, go buy and use some more cocaine.
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Avatar_m_tn
Echocardiogram normal.
Stress test normal...except that my heart rate didnt recover as quickly as he had hoped.

I'll be taking Cardizem LA and he anticipates that I will not have to take this medication forever.  He says that usually after 6 months, most people are fine.

Any experience with this medication?
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Avatar_m_tn
i also have this senstation that never goes away...

it's the sensation in your chest that makes you feel like you need to take a deep breath.  i feel like i should be taking a deep breath once a minute.  so i just try to fight it and not breath deep that often because i know its rediculous.  but why is it there?

also my back tends to feel like its "on fire" while this is all going on. it gets a lot worse when i am at work running around waiting on tables at the local restaurant.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'd like to update my condition...

I had an interesting experience tonight during the super bowl.

It has been 1.5 months since I have even had a drink of alcohol because of this whole ordeal. I have been running 4 miles a day...for about 4 days each week for the last 1.5 months.  I feel great during the runs.

I had 1 beer tonight while I was watching the game.  As I was sitting on the couch, even before I started drinking, I could feel my heart beating in my chest.  It was beating in a normal rhythm...its just that I could feel it.  I can feel my heart beating normally in my chest during the day....it comes and goes.....but i have to be completely still to feel it.

Right before I finished off the beer I felt my heart rate rise.  It jumped to about 100-110.  I started to panic.  I excused myself from the group and filled a glass of water from the sink.  Before I returned back to the couch, my heart rate had already slowed back down.

Did the alcohol cause my heart to palpitate up to 100-110 beats per minute...or was it my mind?  I fear my heart rejected the alcohol? I dunno...my heart rate dropped back down so quickly...but I felt like I was on the brink of panic and my heart started beating harder and harder...and faster and faster...

I REALLY hope that there will be a day when I can have some drinks and relax like old times....or at LEAST ONE BEER!
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Avatar_n_tn
I believe alcohol is a stimulant for the first 1-2 drinks you intake, therefore, making your heart beat a bit fast then it becomes a depressant. I suggest drinking a cup of water in between alcoholic drinks.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had the same problem as you.. my problem started as a result of using codeine in a recreational way. I ended up in the ER the first night with a heart rate of 150+. I've been through all the same tests. I believe what you're going through is a panic disorder caused by using drugs. It could be that your whole life you have known that drugs are not good for you, but fell under the pressure of doing them. Now you may be looking at dealing with that anxiety and the guilt for having done them. That's how  this all started for me. Any little thing that I do that isn't good for my body, whether it's drinking, smoking, or taking any sort of painkillers will trigger my palpitations.

My regular resting heart rate is anywhere from 76-80. When I have the palps (awareness of my own heartbeat - no arrhythmias says my doc) my heart races from 100-125. It doesn't seem like a lot, but it's a pretty crazy feeling. I've found that not smoking, getting lots of sleep, getting some exercise, and just plain taking care of myself really helps.

I know you probably don't want to hear this, but as I've been through all the same tests and things (this craziness has lasted since Jan. 4 of this year), I've had to come to some pretty big conclusions about this:

a) As much as I don't want to admit it, a lot of this anxiety is in my head. I am not the kind of person who should have ever started using anything because I was so adamantly against it growing up. A drug/party lifestyle involves essentially living a double life and I think that's hard to do mentally.

b) Anxiety is like a double-edged sword. The more you dwell on your condition, the more you feed into it, and trigger more panic attacks. It's not like any other disease, where if you're monitoring and watching things, you can often times get better. This actually has the opposite effect. You worry - you trigger another attack. That's what I believe you're doing. If you've been looked at by a cardiologist who has given you a clean bill of health, maybe seek a second opinion (just to calm your nerves) but then let it go. When the attacks happen, focus on deep breathing and occupy your mind with healthy, happy thoughts. I tell myself I'm going to be fine, that it is my obsessive worrying about possibly dying that is triggering my body's fight or flight response.

c) Try doing some exercise without focusing on whether it's going to hurt your heart.  

d) And stop reading these forums.. lol.. You're obsessing about it. There are a lot of people out there who are suffering from some sort of panic disorder. And like another poster said, drugs can cause panic disorders. What probably happened, is that your body was extremely stimulated by the drug you took and it gave you some indicators by the palpitations. When you noticed the palpitations, you probably had your first anxiety attack.  Now, whenever you think about the fact that you may have damaged your body due to drug usage, you are triggering another anxiety attack. For me, trying to ignore them and take control of my body again is my main concern whenever I feel my heart racing for no reason.

e) Oh yeah, avoid caffeine and any fatty foods as well. I don't know what it is about these things, but whenever I have too much coffee or eat too much, I feel them coming on again.

When they happen, I will often times leave the room I'm in (if there's lots of people around). I might get a glass of water, work on some deep breathing techniques ( I found some videos on Youtube for this!), do pilates/yoga, or simply try to ignore them by continuing on with what I was doing. It's my body right? I literally tell my body whenever it happens, "Hey, I'm in charge here, not you!" Just try to focus your energy on something/somewhere else.

I am adamant that these will not control my life. I know what my triggers are now (caffeine, painkillers, alcohol, stress, overeating, obsessing about my health, or excessive worrying) so I try to avoid these situations. This has only gone on for a month now, but when it started, it was so bad that I was having attacks about 10-15 times a day. Sometimes they would last for more than an hour. They were brutal. Take it from someone who has in the past beat a depression, anxiety is the worst kind of internal evil. It can take control of you and literally debilitate you to the point where you feel like you can't do anything anymore. I laid in bed for the first four days it happened, wondering if this was how my life was going to be like from now on. On the fifth day, I got out of bed and vowed it wouldn't control me. I have been doing so much better since. I don't get the palpitations every day now, only on days where I do any of the "bad list" of things I shouldn't do.

I think you can get through this. It almost broke my heart to see your last post. You sounded just like I felt a couple of weeks ago. Don't let yourself become a victim though. There are many ways to live happy and healthy. You could even go and see a therapist who could work you through the anxiety by trying to trigger the attacks and give you strategies on how to deal with them. If that doesn't work, a doctor could prescribe antidepressants (like Celexa) to deal with long term or a sedative (i believe it is) like Ativan that could calm you down if you feel like the panic is becoming out of control. (Be wary of these though, many people become addicted to these and use them as a crutch instead of actually dealing with the problem). For me, I was given them on trip #2 to the ER and they were the only thing that got me to sleep that night. Pills weren't the solution for me because pills were what got me into this mess in the first place. I guess I wanted a holistic approach to this problem.

To conclude this long rant: Good luck. Stop stressin'. Enjoy your life. You're the only one who knows what it will take to make your body feel good when things go awry. If it feels like it's getting out of control, don't shut yourself up at home, go and see a doctor, psychologist or a counselor. Like another poster said, you now have a newfound respect for life because you've broken free from any hold that a drug once had over you. That is a beautiful blessing, even though it's wrapped up in this hellish form of anxiety.
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh yeah, I forgot to add, your blood pressure skyrocketing over the last few months could be caused by the stress you've been adding to your life by constantly worrying. Mine was. I now check it regularly at home (because my boyfriend is doing his everyday for his doctor) and it's gone down to normal because of the fact that I'm employing some good strategies. Hopefully you'll see the same results soon enough.

Another thing, once I got of the mindset that "why am I not back to normal yet?" it actually started helping me. I don't think you will ever be normal again (recklessly abandoning caution and doing some pretty heavy drugs and drinking hard). Instead you will be better because you will learn to live with this anxiety. The symptoms can/will go away for long periods of time. Once you learn your strategies for dealing with them, you will feel better, promise! :)

Hope this helps.

It's funny, I came on here to try and alleviate some of my own stress about what was happening to me. Now that I know it's happening to others in the same way, it's somewhat calming and good to know that I'm not the only one.
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Avatar_f_tn
READ CAREGIVER'S POST!  Maybe THAT will ring a bell.  I don't think my post did.

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Avatar_m_tn
Barbarella....it has been 1.5 months since the stuff was used.

Thank you for your posts, Emerald.

Emerald, can I have your email?  send me a message to brandontf AT aol DOT com
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Avatar_f_tn
CONGRATS for being off that stuff for 1.5 months.
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Avatar_m_tn
ok so i went out last night to a hockey game and had 4 beers and didnt have any heart problems last night or this morning.  so that really lifted my spirits.  now if i can just find a way to NOT be able to feel my heart beating in my chest when I sit down...lie down...or try to sleep or relax.  that is the last thing left to solve....
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Avatar_m_tn
^^^

and its like...i dont know if its something that NEEDS to be solved.  Reason being...I cant remember back BEFORE all this happened....I cant remember if what I am feeling in my chest is something that I have always felt...or if this is a new feeling that was triggered by the cocaine use.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm kind of uncomfortable giving out my email on here, especially given the sensitive subject matter. If you don't mind, I can continue to post on here?

Congrats on the no-heart problems!

I think it really may be anxiety, because now you know that other people have experienced it and you're not going crazy, you feel better about things. When my friend Steve came over during the first few days that I was having these, he told me about his anxiety. I finally understood that it was okay that it was happening and that I wasn't nuts, nor had I hurt myself doing what I'd done. I was thankfully given a second chance.

If you're still getting it while lying down/relaxing, you're in the same boat as me. I still haven't figured out how to get it to go away completely. When I lay down, it's the only time during the day that I let my mind wander anymore. I try to fill my days with so many activities so that the anxiety doesn't rear its ugly head. However, it's been uber-hard to relax without thinking of it.


What I've done and has successfully worked is to fall asleep to the Simpsons (I play them on a laptop beside the bed) and if I wake up, it's to the Simpsons. I love the Simpsons, so for me, this brings a level of comfort.

I wonder why we get the palps when we're relaxed. I don't drink much anymore, because when I do, I feel them coming on. Someone posted about the heart rate changing with the first few drinks, maybe that is the reason. I also think that the relaxation thing plays a big part. We don't want to let ourselves relax because our bodies maybe are constantly involved in the fight/flight response. I have been sooo tense since this all started. I also get achy rather quickly. Someone told me that deep breathing, massage, or yoga might help with this. I've tried the deep breathing and the yoga, so maybe it's time to try the massage.

Hey, don't stress on yourself if it's not going away as fast as you'd like it to. I had mine down to practically nothing in the last few weeks and had another setback today. Big deal, right? Rome wasn't built in a day and nothing that is worth fighting for (like your life back!) comes easy. You can do it!

Here's my latest setback:
Today, I fell asleep in the sun (just inside my bedroom) and it was a glorious feeling. I don't think I've felt that good since this whole nightmare began.  Because that's what it is right xstalkrx? A nightmare? I've been through a lot in my life, but this has been the most hellish experience. But I'm recovering. I know I am. It's just going to take longer than I want.

Anyway, back to my sun story. I live up north and I don't get much sun. So I'm sunning, lying next to my kitty cat. I've more or less fallen asleep against my will because I've been sooo overtired lately from having difficulty getting to sleep at night. About thirty minutes in, the phone rings, and my brother comes racing into my room. I wake up immediately and realize my heart is beating like crazy. I've always hated getting woken up suddenly. So that was a minor setback, to feel that crazy heart rush again after doing so much to forget that it was there.
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Avatar_m_tn
emerald, when you are laying down, you can feel your heartbeat right? its not fast....but you can feel it right?  can you feel it like...between your nipples?  or is it lower....like more in your stomach area?

mine is in my stomach area...and I think I am paying attention to a feeling that has always been there. i dunno...its hard for me to say for sure.  i cant remember what WAS normal.

a lot of people can feel their pulse in their stomach area because of the Aorta that travels through your abdomen area.  so I could be stressing about something that is totally normal.

where do you feel your heart beating?  when you feel it beating....is it always associated with a fast heart beat?
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Avatar_n_tn
my heart beat is only fast when I'm having an attack. It usually beats fast when I start becoming aware of it. :P Weird eh it's like a vicious circle really?
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385668_tn?1301797480
DUDE i can offer you some good advice.....NEVER under any circumstances should you EVER reach for another line of cocain or smoke crack.  The effects of drugs on the heart is something that you will never get rid of, make no mistake.  The thing is to not make anything worse to where you become hospitalized or die.  Being so young I am afraid that if you start feeling better, you will forget the things that are important....well DONT!!!!!!  It can mean your life.

Stay away from the drugs forever......stay away from alcohol at least until things quiet down...then use only in moderation.

Feel Better
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Avatar_m_tn
well the cardiologist said there wasnt any permanent damage.

but i will definately never touch the stuff again.

i have been out drinking a couple of times since, and still I will NOT get the urge to use the cocaine. so im feeling good in that regard.

the only thing that bothers me now is my recovery heart rate after i am done exercising.

it takes like 1 hour for my heart rate to come all the way back down to resting after 30-40 minutes of exercising at a heart rate of 165-170.
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385668_tn?1301797480
Your inability to recover within 2 to 4 minutes after excercise would indicate , for your age, that your heart is stressed from the cocaine use.  I am 59 yo with many risk factors for heart disease and this past month I underwent a nuclear stress test.  With the grace of GOD my HR returned to almost normal after about 4/5 minutes after reaching 94% of my max HR.  I don't know if this will give you a baseline of how hard you heart is working to recover.  My HR was 153 bpm.  Take into consideration though that I reached that HR in 7 and 1/2 minutes........so probably you exercising over a 30 to 40 minute time frame it might take a ittle longer for you to recover.  When I go to the gym, I treadmill for 30 minutes only reaching about 130 BPM.  After excercise, my HR returns to normal within 6 minutes.  

If you have concerns though I would ask your DR. to explain in detail why your recovery takes the time it does.  Your Dr. may be able to put your mind at ease.

I would be careful of the drinking also, I will tell you why.  When you drink, the alcohol is processed through the liver and into the bloodstream.  There is alot of sugar residual in that process.  Example: did you ever wake up feeling shaky the day after drinking heavily the night before?  If you say "yes" that is a direct result of the sugar in your bloodstream.  Just be careful.  I know you are a young guy, but why not try drinking an O'douls non-alcoholic beer...its pretty good, you still get the feeling that you are drinking beer, but without all of the after effects of an alcoholic brew.

Hope this helps and keep us posted...

Oh ya one more thing   STAY AWAY FROM THE COCAINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nervous15
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Avatar_m_tn
My heart rate has seemingly improved while running. It appears that 5 weeks of consistancy has really paid off.

NOW...I might be a little hypochondriac here....but is this the sign of a possible aortic anuerism?  The beating of my heart is not in my chest....but in my abdomen area.  Specifically on the upper left side of my abdomen just below the rib cage.  The pulsating seems to come and go throughout the day but I can only seem to feel it if I am sitting or lying still.  At night it can really be bothersome as I am trying to sleep.

Any insights would be appreciated.
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That can be normal esp. if you are slim. I find when I am anxious it feels like it is beating in my stomach and have always been able to watch it while lying back in the bath.

Float.

Good luck
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My sister used cocaine recreationally for a few years (just on the weekends) and she developed atrial flutter.  I don't think there is any way to say for sure that the cocaine caused her to develop that arrhythmia, but she never had any heart problems before that.  She takes flecainide and atenolol to contol it.  It's not deadly, but not fun, either, and the meds come with some pretty bad side effects.  I think you'll be okay if you lay off the cocaine.  Seriously, you don't want to mess with your heart.  A lot of people aren't lucky enough to develop just a minor arrhythmia from cocaine; a lot of people actually die.  Good luck to you.  (Oh, yeah, my sister quit using once she developed the arrhythmia but she continues to suffer from it, five years after the fact.)  
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Avatar_m_tn
i feel normal during the day now.

if i can just solve this night time anxiety problem i will be great. feeling my pulse in my abomen while i am trying to sleep sends me to the brink of panic.  but i control it.  it is still bothersome.

if i could just NOT feel my pulse then everything would be fine.
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Avatar_m_tn
feeling my pulse when i lay down still causes me anxiety.  my heart also seems to beat just a hair faster when i lay down?  is this because of the anxiety?  gah!
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Avatar_n_tn
It may be because you notice it more when you rest (the heartbeat)-but could be some anxiety. I have cardiomyopathy, and one thing I have learned which I notice no one has mentioned to you is that cocaine users can develop cardiomyopathy. That is much worse that having a rapid heartrate, and is a very serious disease. The heart chamber that squeezes the blood out to your body (left ventricle) becomes enlarged, is unable to squeeze a normal amount of blood out to your body with every heartbeat, and because of that the heartbeat becomes much faster to compensate. It is a very serious situation, can kill you in fact, and if not changes your life remarkably. Lots of shortness of breath, swelling, and fatigue. I had to quit work. Believe me, I know what this can do to you--I have it. I got it from a virus which attacked my heart and damaged the heart muscle. Google it-because it is difficult to explain here-but if you are having any heart problems now related to your past cocaine use, I would read up on this-because it will inspire you to not dabble with cocaine any further, I promise you that! Take care and good luck
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Avatar_m_tn
I will never dabble in cocaine again...that is for SURE.

I did have an echocardiogram and the cardiologist said there is no enlargement and he said my heart was structurally perfect.  He gave me 2 echocardiograms.  One before exercise and one after exercise.
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Avatar_m_tn
It appears I have an increased awareness of my own heartbeat and this is causing anxiety.

I think I will see a doctor soon about the anxiety.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I have just been reading all of your posts and I just want to tell you that I throught the same thing about 5 years ago.  I smoked marijuana for the 1st time in 3 years and I had a SEVERE anxiety attack.  My pulse jumped to 200 BPM, I was lightheaded, nauseous...I thought I was going to die and no one would take me to the hospital since I had drugs in my system.  Well this feeling lasted for months.....not the high pulse rate but the feeling that I was going to die.  I had to go on Zoloft, Ativan, Neurontin, and propranolol for about 2 years.  I had to go to a therapist to discuss my "life" problems...it was the worst 2 years of my life.  Constant trips to the ER, cardiologists, numerous tests and constant worry.  All tests came back fine....it was anxiety.

I was doing great until I got pregnant in Dec. 2006, it triggered all the anxiety again but since I was pregnant I couldn't take any of the drugs, except propranolol on a strictly as-needed basis.  I was instructed to only take it if my pulse jumped above 150 BPM for over 30 minutes because they were worried it would lower the baby's heart rate as well.  My son is now 18 months old and I am still battling the anxiety.  I don't care what anyone says, I don't think you will ever be 100% "cured" of anxiety.  It is always in the back of your mind.  I just try to keep myself occupied, not hard with an 18 month old.

I'm glad you decided to quit using...that was last time I smoked pot, takes an anxiety attack to wake us up.  The best thing you did was go see a cardiologist.  I've been to 3 different ones because I was convinced that one missed something.  I have had all tests done on my heart (except a cardiac cath) and the only thing that has ever shown up was Right Bundle Branch Block (on 1 EKG out 15 or so) and my cardio said it could have been a misplaced lead or that it can occur in healthy individuals.  With all the tests I have had done I am fine.

About alcohol use...try to avoid excessive use.  Anytime I drink more than 2 I wake up the next morning with a rapid pulse and just overall "ugh" feeling.  I'm not sure who posted about the sugar in alcohol but they are right.  I know, it's not fair, we can't do anything but to me it's worth the sacrifice if I don't have to deal with it like I did in the past.  

Good luck to you and remember you are not alone.....this is very common and there are lots of people out there to talk to.
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Avatar_m_tn
I havent had any panic attacks for weeks now.  There is still a bit of worry and anxiety in the back of my mind though.  It is still hard to completely get rid of all of the anxiousness but I am so much better.  I run...workout...etc and I can function during the day and do everything I need to do.

I am waiting on insurance so that I can go to the doctor for my anxiety.

What will the doctor likely prescribe for a 22 year old male like me who has mild anxiety like this?

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GP just prescribed lexapro but i dont know if i am going to start taking it or not.  Concerned about possible side effects and also about whether or not this is right for me.  The GP really doesnt know me on a personal basis and is one of those GP's at the random walk in clinics.

Do you guys think I should go see a psychiatrist instead?

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Avatar_n_tn
something similar happened to me. i got palps after a heavy few months of coke use. then something stange happened. I blew out about a cup full of yellow mucus in the shower one morning, followed by a huge rattling cough - it sounded like an explosion. out came a load of black spots and a black glob of something (probably tar from smoking).
however i felt so good after this experience i thought i would like another few lines of coke.

this was the worst idea as i had as the palps came back but this time with chest pains and cough. 3 years later its still there and now getting short of breath.

anyone having coughing syptoms (symptoms) too?
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Avatar_n_tn
hey im 16 and used the drug called Antihydrents or street name "ante" its a form of coke i used it over the summer along with smokin a **** load of weed...i had two a days and got heat exhaustion and ended up gettin my heart checked out some but never said anything about the other drug use cause they didnt find it in my system but i still have some chest pains , muscle spasms in my left arm , leg, eye, foot, and pains in my back and i feel like my heart beats extra hard..but alot is just me worry is what a doctor told me ...but im not sure..i just always worry
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Avatar_n_tn
i can focus and feel my heart beat at any time also like you can...and i feel like a have heart burn alot..im just wonderin exactly what i should do...cause i weigh 205 bench 325 and work out everyday and take weigh protein so im really healthy other than me doing that drug twice which consisted of like 4 lines each time and smokin weed...but iv been done with the "ante" since around june but done smokin like 2 weeks ago..
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Avatar_n_tn
i would never tell anyone not to see a therapist, you just need to remember that you have developed an over active adrenal reponse to the sensation of your heart beat, due to the coke use in your past...
this will not go away all on its own, take the prescription as instructed to help calm your adrenal response to your heart beat.
make good decisions and give it some time...
we all make mistakes which we pay for in different ways.
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Avatar_n_tn
Take it from someone who knows , stop doing drugs because when you get older you start to suffer from those bad choices. And I don't mean older as in your 60's I mean 30's and 40's. My heart is a mess from doing cocaine and also having high cholesterol for a long period of time without changing diet or lifestyle. I wish I could go back and right those bad decisions but its not possible. I regret my bad choices every single day of the week. Especially when I see other people who made right choices living so happily while I suffer because of my own bad choices.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey guys I've been doing a lot of research these past few months on people having similiar issues to mine.
Alright so here's my story.

About two months ago (Oct 16th 2009) I was at a rave, and throughout the night I've consumed 2 hits of Mdma.. some really strong stuff(poke-balls) if you guys know what they are. and also mixxed it with 4 or 5 bowls of cannabis. so my mind was a trip haha. but at the end of the night I bummed a cigarette off some guy. He told me it was his "lucky". Me being pretty stupid thought nothing of it, so I smoked it.

So on the car ride home I was feeling really really good. thinking I was still rolling from the mdma. But it had been aprroximately 2 or 3 hours since my last pill and I had already reached my peak of it. so there was no way I could still be rolling. So right before I get dropped off, my friend passes around another two or three bowls of bud.

As im making my way in the door, I'm feeling really confident for some reason, usually I'd give my entrance to my house a second thought if I was high or rolling. so I get in, go to my room. and look in the mirror, and realize my arm is fat. I start to freak, and feel my heartbeat skyrocketed. I google all sorts of things, I spent the whole night trying to figure out what was wrong. I came to the conclusion that the cigarette was laced with cocaine or crack or something.

Because the next morning My pupils were dilated. for the next few days I felt like I was literally sitting on my death bed. at one point even accepting it as it came and thinking my last thoughts.

So it turns out I did live, I went to the doctors that following monday (3 days after it occured).

My EKG was normal, I've run blood tests, chest xrays stomach xrays theyve all come out positive.
I've been to the doctor 4 or 5 times.
I've been prescribed
Omeprazole for indigestion
Amoxicillin for the blood spitting and
Colace for constipation

So here's all the symptoms Ive had
-Acidic Spitting
-Spitting Blood
-Heart Palpitations
-Indigestion/Constipation
-Cold hands/feet
-tired eyes when looking at bright screens
-confusion at times


I'm scared as hell to exercise too. I've been to the gym twice and my heart throbs intensely when Im on the  treadmill.
Last week i ran a mile and my heart has been through constant beating all week.

I'm thinking of scheduling an appointment with the doctor this week.

I havent been the same since that night.
I've only drank water for the past month or so.
I stay away from sweets, fried stuff and oily things.

It's hard to cope with all this but its a definite relief to see that some of you guys have gone through what I've gone through.
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Avatar_m_tn
Also everytime I touch weed it makes throat feel scratchy and my heart feels like its gonna explode.

I'm sad about this because I loved smoking weed and also running and working out. I play paintball with a passion but am afraid that I can no longer continue doing the things I love doing.

it really is a life changer. I no longer take for granted what I used to. and btw Im only 18
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Avatar_m_tn
Also the day after the whole thing I smoked out with a couple friends, and that was one of my worst highs of my life.

I felt the crack/cocaine whatever the hell it was in my body. rise from my chest then down to my knees and stuff. Like my chest would get big if I was sitting down, then when I stood up it will go down to my feet.

And I was driving, usually I can drive very easily when I'm high, I'm just a tad slower but more concentrated. But this specific situation I had my hand on the clutch, and for some reason I was squeezing the clutch. Because I couldnt feel my hands..
It was a trip. Things werent making sense. I also felt like I had to do certain things to be safe, like I felt like if I wasnt in a safe environment I was gonna die.
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sorry if this is a year too late!
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Avatar_f_tn
All very interesting stuff.  I have a related question that maybe some of you can shed some light on for  me.  I am 29 years old male and, over the last year or so, have used cocain recreationally as well as abusively.  I have not used in over a month and don't plan on using ever again.  My question is...  Is it common to feel like something was damaged or effected in my brain and not my heart?  I find it very difficult to focus and feel comfortable throughout the day.  My thought seem fuzzy and I find myself not enjoying many things I used to find pleasure in.  If anyone has any insight, I would greatly appreciate it.  Thanks.
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are there any types of depression pills that are made with cocaine or cause cocaine to show up in a autopsy?
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yes, thinking about it makes things worse definitely. How are they now? Have they stopped? I know that when i used to do coke I would do so much that my chest hurt. I don't know if it was just soreness from tensing up or if it was my heart about to give out. But i exercise everyday, and my heart i would say is stronger than the average human beings heart. since exercising does put a strain on the heart also, but in a good way, not chemically I think that's why coke didn't screw me up forever.
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im having the exact same Symptoms its been like this since april 15th 2012 , except i cant sleep at night ive been fighting this for about a month and a half its the worst experience of my life ...  i cant joke about it .. my heart rate still goes up for no reason i just had a bad reaction to the cocaine i dont know if something was in it .. i never had any physical badreactions due to drug use i am 21 been doing it since 13 and never had any problems , i concluded that its not my heart thats ruind i ruined some thing neurologically  like the chemistry in my body/ brain i am terribly sadden : [  
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Avatar_m_tn
It probably wasn't the coke, but whatever it had been bashed with.
I've just had a similar experience, although I've taken it before, not often, but a few times and every time has been good.
This last time, I took it with a friend and where I got the heart palpitations (that lasted for 12hrs btw) he got a bad nose bleed and felt sick.
There was definitely something in that bag that isn't normally there.

While this sounds like cocaine is the innocent victim, I'm sure it isn't.
However, I'm gonna miss the high I used to get from coke, but I can't guarantee that my next bag isn't gonna have this **** in it again and I just won't risk it.

Believe it or not, I've also had similar symptoms from caffeine abuse and that's a legal drug, slipped into soft drinks.
My heartbeat got really intense and fast, I felt light-headed and weak, my mouth and throat went dry and no amount of water could wet them.
Also, the muscles in my neck and jaw seemed to lock up and both my arms went tingly numb.
I really thought that was it, but apparantly doctors see it all the time with people who drink too many of those energy drinks.

Best just to stay away from those things and try to live a healthy life.
It all seems fun at the time, but when you think you're life is over, you see what you have and a quick high just ain't worth the potential price.

That's my new and improved view anyway.
I don't know if it was bad enough to kill me, or just felt that bad because I panicked.
For all we know, we could've easily died if we'd done just one extra thing wrong, so the worry is keeping me clean for now.
Hopefully I can change my outlook and won't even miss them after a while.
Peace
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Avatar_m_tn
Anxiety or SVT....  i was a recreational user for around 10 yrs and had both.  They can correct most SVT with a catheter ablation these days.  If the heart rate goes back down after exercise, it's a good chance it's not SVT.  Either way, the gym is a great place to be.    For anxiety, try a man's multivitamin along with 100-200mg L-Tyrosine during the day and 100 mg 5-HTP before you go to bed.  Flac seed oil is also good if you can stand it.  DO NOT GO WITH ANTI-DEPRESSANTS prescribed by your doctor.

Good luck to any others reading this post.  Anxiety has a tendency to ruin your life and forget what it's like to be alive!
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Avatar_f_tn
Walking to the sink may have calmed down your panic. I asked a friend about this - a guy who was a research scientist at a major hospital here, and
when i told him i had a panic attack and i grabbed my keys and ran out of the house, sat in my car to go, i started to feel better. He said it was something about "action" and "walking" that calmed me down. I can't remember the
complicated medical terms he used, but he said that "moving" helped a lot. Hope this helps.
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Avatar_f_tn
Gee, i am so sensitive that i can't even smoke one regular cigerrette, or one
alcohol drink or even a piece of chocolate. I get pvc's and i can't sleep.
So it seems i have NO escape at all. I would love one glass of red sweet wine or a wine kooler, or just one sweet clove cigerrette, but i can't do ANY of
those things..........I used to try smoking a small cigar....but kept me
up all nite too!!
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