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This is more than anxiety!! Should I take prescribed meds?
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This is more than anxiety!! Should I take prescribed meds?

I can't begin to tell you how sick I am of hearing that my rapid and sometimes irregular heartbeat is "just anxiety" or "nothing to worry about". I have read through everyone's posts and suddenly and it made me so happy to realize others are seeking answers as am I about what causes these tachycardia attacks and why no one ever figures it out.

My day consists of me waking up in the morning often with a fast heartbeat of at least 90 (on a good day) but normally about 105. I proceed to have a day usually with a normal heartbeat until I return home from my busy college life and am met with PVC's a rapid heartbeat and difficulty breathing. Recently I visited a Cardiologist who prescribed a Beta Blocker, I refuse to take it. If I really have an actual heart condition taking it could very well lead to my death as stated on the warnings, "do not take if you have any heart condition, or hypertension. Usage could result in Heart Attack or death." So what do you think should I take it? From what I have seen at least 25% of people on this forum experience what I do, so any advice is appreciated. Thank you very much.
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762919_tn?1234453810
Well I hear ya on the racing heart thing beign just anxeity..IMO I think it's a crock of S*** I wake up, go down the stairs and have one sip of coffee and I'm anywhere between 110 and 125, IMO, something is not right with this picture! I've been suffering now for just about a year. Have had every test in the book minus a cath.. and oh well you have inappropriate sinus tach. So what I'm just suppose to live with this?  Howe high can it go? When do I call for help? It's getting worse!! I can't take a beta blocker because it will lower my BP to much. I've had 3 attacks now in the past week where my heart took off racing mid-day and my bp went up. Called my cardio doc today, They did not even call back?? My primary want's me to try luvox it's an anti d.. so I guess I'm going to have to give that a shot but, I'm scared. All I can tell you is keep pushing for answers. It's your health and your heart.
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612551_tn?1247839157
Take the Beta Blockers.
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Avatar_n_tn
Beta blockers are useless; they do not stop PVCs.  They just mask the effects a little.

There are anti-arrhythmia drugs (amiodarone, propafenone, verpamil, etc).  Sometime they are effective and sometime they lose their efficacy.  Some of them have bad side effects and have to be monitored by your doctor.

If you have an arrhythmia problem do not waste your time with cardiologist.  Go see an Electrophysiologist whose specialty is arrhythmias.
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876405_tn?1243511886
I know exactly how you feel..I am also getting sick of people telling me that it is just anxiety when I know perfectly well that it is not..Anxiety does not cause someone's heart rate to go up to 210..which is how high mine has gotten during certain periods of SVT. How can they explain that? I would like to see some of these people try to remain calm if this has happened to them!! I know exactly how you feel..

For Mariop- Is an electrophysiologist better to see than a cardiologist? Would they basically want to do an ablation?? Because I am terrified of getting one done--what other types of treatment do they prescribe?
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Avatar_f_tn
are you saying that the beta blockers can be deadly if you have a heart condition? i think you may be confused, because beta blockers are prescribed FOR people with high blood pressure (hypertension) and tachycardia/PVCs. they work by blocking the beta receptors in your heart to slow down the adrenaline (or something like that. i'm sure it's a lot more complicated). i take it for both tachycardia and PVCs and it has helped tremendously, but you always have the weigh that against side effects. i will probably be tapering off of it in a few weeks, because of the side effects, and my new dr thinks that my diagnosis wasn't correct.

i say just try them.

also, i go to school full time at an ivy league university; i know the stress that comes from thinking you have something wrong with you while your main concentration should be on your school work. for me, i started to have tachycardia and PVCs, but then i worked myself into a mess last semester thinking that i was going to die, etc, which is definitely anxiety feeding into an annoying, yet benign problem. so what i'm saying is, don't rule out anxiety: you may have something wrong with you (but not deadly) and your anxiety over it might be perpetuating it. this is what i feel happened to me. i was having PVCS and tachycardia. now, i don't have tachycardia, but still a few PVCs, and whenever i have one, i just tell myself that it is okay; it happens. i can't expect every heart beat i have to be perfect.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you all for your responses, the Electrophysiologist intrigues me, but obviously going through college I can't throw money at every doctor that might help me right now. This is a mystery for all of us, and I hope we find a solution.
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Avatar_f_tn
Please try the beta blocker.  I have gone through exactly the same thing.  They finaly did diagnose me with wolff-parkinson-white for which I had an ablation.  The ablation did not work because the "bad" signal was to close to the main artery of my heart.   I now have the pvc's and pac's horrible.  I was reluctant to take the beta blocker in the beginging.  I did wind up doing it and it does help.  In the begining it did bring my heart rate down alot and my blood pressure also.  It now has evened out and it helps with the irregular beats most of the time.   I use generic toprol.  They give this for people that have had a heart attack.  It helps the heart. It is also given to people that have migrans and for some slight anxiety problems.   I know how you feel.  I also have anxiety so that doesn't help and when they are going strong it's hard to think about anything but dieing.  Good luck on what you decide to do.  If you do try it give it a good two weeks to kick in.  I started with 1/2 of a 25 pill and go between that and a full pill depending on how bad they are that day.  
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Avatar_f_tn
People who have SVT and Wolff-Parkinson-White HAVE heart conditions; they would be sent to an EP Specialist for an Ablation of the EXTRA electrical tracts in the heart. This is not something that you have so I wouldn't waste the money to see this specialist. ALL people on the planet have PVCs/PACs, that's normal. A heart rate like you are describing is nothing to worry about; your stress levels can easily put you into those ranges. Your breathing alone can cause your heart rate to increase. I find that you said during the day your heart rate is normal and once you get home, it starts to 'act up' basically. During school, you are busy and your mind doesn't have the ability to focus on your heart, that's probably why you are having a normal heart rate during those times. You get home and the stress of studying, getting dinner, doing your running around, that's a different story....you tend to think about your heart more. Take the beta blockers, it will probably help you. You would never get a doctor to prescribe a drug such as Amiodarone as this is a class 3 drug and is a drug that causes severe side affects such as fibrosis of the lungs. They won't consider that drug unless you have been on several drugs without success and have a severe problem with is life threatening in itself. The reason the doctors are saying you are fine is because you do not have an underlying heart disease; your heart is structurely fine so the PVCs/PACs aren't going to hurt you in the least. All cells in the heart are capable of 'firing' off electrical impulses; it's a 'back up system' in the heart's electrical make-up. You are young, more than likely because you say you are in college; why are you taking your pulse all the time in the first place? There are a lot of young people who are out there who would give their eye teeth to be in your situation; young people with severe heart disease who are having a hard time getting around in the first place. Live your life and try not to worry so much about something that is not going to kill you. Your worrying about a heart rate of 90-105 is just going to keep your rate at 90-105. Tachycardia is a rate of 100 and over; 5 beats more a minute is nothing to be concerned about; the heart can withstand rates of over 200 beats a minutes for days or more, without damage andmany people around the world have rates that never go below 120-130 for years without ill effect. I know it's hard not to worry about all of this, but it is in your best interest not to; you will feel a lot better.    
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello.

I guess I'm just looking for others who have gone through what I'm going through. I'm 26-years-old and live and work in New York City. For about 9 years I've thought I suffered from some sort of anxiety/panic disorder. It's caused me much distress, at times provoking deep depression and even thoughts of suicide. I've self-medicated at times with alcohol and marijuana, at other times by being religious about exercise and diet. But nothing seemed to fully stop the episodes of sheer panic.

After a severe "panic attack" where I ended up in the ER thinking I was having a heart attack, I was told to see a cardiologist. I went for all the standard tests (echo stress, tilt table, halter monitoring, event monitoring, etc.) and my cardiologist concluded that I have tachycardia/bradycardia. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it because I've spent 9 years convincing myself that it's all in my head.

I met with an EP this week and he seemed less convinced of the tachycardia and bradycardia, I think because in the results from my halter monitoring my symptoms didn't always correlate with abnormally fast or slow rates. He seemed a little on the fence about recommending an EP study and ablation - which put doubts in my mind and made me wonder whether all of this is just in my head.

I feel like I'm losing my mind. I don't feel well. There's just this sense that permeates my subconcous that something isn't right with me. And that thought makes me feel like a hypochondriac. The bottom line is that all of this (the doubt, uncertainty, dizziness, palpitations, racing heart) is making me incredibly depressed. I used to be a great athlete - now I'm slightly overweight and inactive.

I'm just wondering if there are any other people in their 20s who are going though this and what your experience has been. In many ways I feel at my wit's end.
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Avatar_n_tn
There are many different arrhythmias.  The purpose of an EP study is to determine what type you have, and if it is high risk.  EPs with experience can more or less guess just by reading the properties of a 12 lead EKG graph.  The problem is catching the arrhythmia.  I wore a Monitor for 10 days before it was caught.  So, of course you can get a lot of extra benign beats, everyday, but the trick is to see if occasionally a bad VT takes place.
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267401_tn?1251856096
So someone who is trained and licensed, specializing in medical issues of the heart, is telling you to take a certain medication.  And you, with presumably no medical training, are thinking the cardiologist is trying to kill you by prescribing a beta blocker.

I'm not sure if you're able right now, but between you and the cardiologist, you should trust the one with years of schooling and experience in this matter.
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267401_tn?1251856096
I would suggest you ask your family doctor about an SSRI.  That might be all you need.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you all for comments!!
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