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due to UNbelieveable continual stressful events in our family over the past year or so.....I think we are sitting under a black cloud or something, my palpitations come and go. In the past 2 months, they have been horrid. I even took myself to the Emergency Room one morning, where after extensive testing, they said PACs, PVCs..stress..etc...
So...they continued, not every day, but most days, off and on.....
Soo..I waited a week or so, and went to my cardiologist. HE put a 48 hr holter on me, and wow did i have the palps!!
He first just sent me a letter, said the Holter was NORMAL. I called them back, I said NORMAL???? I knew that I mustve had thousands of them, and he says normal??!
Well, he returned my frantic call...and said to come on in to discuss.
I did, he said he saw PACs, few PVCs, and SVE, which I just learned on this forum are the same as PACs, in other words...all harmless, but that i had 4,300 of them in a 24 hr period. Wow. He didnt say wow, tho. He was unimpressed. He said TO LESSEN MY ANXIETY OF THEM, and because I seem to FEEL them more than most people, he would try some things....Im on Metoprolol already, the Extended release. 100 mg in the morning. He said take another one at night. Thats 200 mg a day!!
Then Ive been taking, by prescription, Potassium (which for a while I thought was the "cure". NOPE.) I take the potass 15 ml (liquid) 2x a day.
He then wrote a prescrp for 500 mg Magnesium, and I was told to take 500 mg calcium. So..hes really trying to help me, I know this.
I dont take all that stuff tho. It seems like way too much for me!!! I tried the Mag a few times...never the calcium...and never the full 200 mg Metoprolol a day, I cut the PM one in half.
QUESTION...should I ignore my thoughts,and go ahead and take ALL that he has told me to??? I know he knows more than I do..but that seems like so much stuff.
I work out at a cardiac fitness center because my husband has cardiac issues (im only 49,hes 52 but has had heart troubles) so when I have the palps bad, they insist on putting on a monitor and watching mine. Well, 2 nights ago, I went in to workout WITH The palpitations. She put the monitor on me, and wow, did I have them, again. But she didnt stop me, and when I got done, she showed me the tracings...and said, its all PACs, absolutly NOTHING to be worried about...

but I wake up this morning, and they are back.

what should I do? There are NO more doctors, hospitals left to go to! Am I a hypochondriac now??? These things reduce me to tears....and to going from Dr to Dr....and thats just not me
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612551_tn?1247839157
You should take the medications you doctor has prescribed, at least give it a few week's try.

I have taken 100 mg Metoprolol twice a day (200mg), one in the morning and one in the evening.  I did have some side effects that deminished over time, for example very low blood pressure and some dizziness.  This mostly passed, but I complained that the hight dose caused me to be tired and fatigued... my doctor reduced my Metoprolol to 50 mg and added 240 mg of calcium channel blocker.  I take these medications to reduce my high HR driven by atrial fibrillation.  So, my experienced isn't a direct match to your question, but do have experience with high dose Metoprolol and share that with you.

The high dose minerals should have no bad side effects, well I'd guess nothing worse than maybe constipation.  
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1147530_tn?1314825196
The more supplements I take, the worse my arrhythmia gets.  I too tried everything under the sun and I seem to get more activity, esp. when I take extra calcium.  That's quite an increase in the Metoprolol, which in some increases the pac's, due to reduced heart rate (the same effect as the calcium has being that it's a muscle relaxant).  When I flip out I take some Ativan, and just the anxiety release seems to lessen the pac's/pvc's.  
I weened off the Toprol months ago since it wasn't reducing my pac's and then I stopped all supplementation.  I feel like the activity is somewhat reduced.  If a lot is not working for you, maybe reducing may prove beneficial, but you need directions from the doc on the gradual reduction with Metroprolol.  
I feel your anxiety and frustration and can totally relate. Sooo annoying, but our hearts are beating and that's a good thing.  Take care!
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503607_tn?1275675179
Have you tried different beta blockers?  I was on Toprol it did noting for my palps, then I tried Atenolol and it worked great. Not every med works for everyone.  I would ask your dr about trying a different brand and see if that helps,   I went from Palps 24-7 to occasional while on Atenolol.  Atenolol may give you no relief and maybe some other brand will.  Good Luck!
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1375460_tn?1280025013
I am new to PACS....I think in the past I have felt the flutter in the base of the neck...but didn't think much of it.  A couple weeks ago I sat down and was feeling it often...I started taking my pulse and when I felt that flutter I didnt't feel a beat....boy did I freak out.  I am a big time worrier by nature.  I am 35 years old, about to turn 36 and have three kids....it has been a very stressful couple weeks.  My regular cardiologist (had a stress test in 2004 and passed with flying colors) can't get me in until August...so I went and saw another cardiologist last week.  Had an echo done and a treadmill test while hooked up to a heart monitor.  The echo was normal, showed my heart was the right size, no leaky valves, no MVP, and good blood flow...ejection fraction of 60%.  My blood pressure has never been above 120/80....my cholesterol is high and I have taken simvastatin for 7 years now to control that.  I also wore a holter monitor that was sent to my regular cardiologist...my primary doctor did see it and confirmed that I had some PACS and said at one point I had 4 premature beats in a row.  So, I have been told by my family doctor not to worry about it, a cardiologist not to worry about it....and read all over the message boards that PACS are common...some people feel them and some people don't.  My problem with this is that sometimes I may go several minutes without one...but other times, like now I feel 6 or 7 a minute.  There is no pain, dizziness, or any other symptom with it...I just feel the flutter and start to freak out.  

I'm afraid to go to bed because I worry that if something gets way out of whack I won't be awake and aware of it therefore I will not be able to do anything about it.  Is that a logical thought or is that my mind and anxiety playing with me?  I worry about everything.....and PACS is not a good mix with someone that naturally worries.

I was given 25mg of atenolol from the cardiologist to try once a day....she said the only thing she saw in my work up is that after the treadmill my heart rate took a little while to come back down to where I started.  I figure that is because I am out of shape...first time in about 3 years I've been on a treadmill.  I'm not way overweight...5'11", 225....since these pacs started two weeks ago I have been caffeine and alcohol free.  I'm afraid to try either one.  I'm also afraid to start taking the atenolol.....I hate that I'm already on a medication to lower cholesterol....but if I know for sure atenolol would stop these things I would probably do it.   This is so frustrating!!!  I feel exhausted by the end of the day from the anxiety over these things...at work I find myself researching the internet over and over for reassurance, they are currently controlling my life.  I do have some 1mg Xanax that I take at night that calms me down and helps me go to sleep, but I don't want to get addicted to that either!

Can anyone relate?  Do you get lots of PACS......like several within a couple minutes?  Any suggestions on how you cope would be great because I am pulling my hair out with these!

Take care,

Grant
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Avatar_f_tn
take the atenolol and try to quit freaking out about them.  PACs will not hurt you, I know they are annoying but the more you worry about them the worse they get.  Mine are significantly affected by stress and if I can forget about them and go about my day I am way better off.  You have had all the tests and everything is ok.  The atenolol will not hurt and may help, you should definitely take it.  If that doesn't help ask for another beta blocker.  The atenolol didn't work too well for me, I seem to do better on bystolic.  
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1375460_tn?1280025013
Thank you CFS56, that alone makes me feel better.  I am definitely stressed out/depressed about this....the last three nights I have had dreams and woke up like every 30 minutes....not from the PACS, I feel them when I'm laying down, but they aren't a pounding....I just feel enough sensation to know they are there...but when I wake up in the middle of the night it isn't because I felt one...I think it's the stress/anxiety that is doing that to me.  

I guess I will try the atenolol....I'm just sick of this depressed feeling....it's like I don't want to do anything but lay around.  I have to mow the yard today and I was going to go on a long walk with the kids and dog....but I am struggling to find the motivation to do that.

Two quick questions:

1. Can you take Xanax with Atenolol?

2.  Once starting a beta blocker are you on them forever???  I'd like to hope I could get off of them at some point in time.
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503607_tn?1275675179
I take Atenolol and occasionally Zanax,  I was told by my cardiologist I could come off Atenolol when ever I felt I could becaue I only take it for Pvc's.   You have to wean off not just stop.  
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Avatar_f_tn
They can take over your life if you let them.  Take the atenolol, see if it helps.  And I would definitely take the xanax too for a while, it will not hurt to take them together.  The xanax will help with the stress and lots of times if I'm having a lot of palps and take a xanax they get better...so that tells me that stress is definitely a factor. .  I went through a spell last summer where I went to the ER 5 times in 3 months.  The last visit I had a nurse tell me that my heart was all I thought about and I was causing a lot of my own problems.  I was furious!  But I thought about it for a couple of days and realized she was right.  And since I realized that I have gotten a lot better (knock on wood).  I really should have thanked her instead of getting mad.  Hang in there..take your meds and try to quit worrying all the time about it..force yourself to do things for now, it will get easier.
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1375460_tn?1280025013
thanks debbier and CFS56....I appreciate it.  The first half of my day today was the worst one I have had since the onset.....I was very depressed and was feeling them quite often. I was really down about it and almost in tears.  I had some yard work to do so I decided to take a Xanax and go get it done....I did so, put the ipod on and mowed the front and back yard...I kept myself moving and was working up a sweat, It was awesome because if I was having them I didn't feel them.  The combination of Xanax and moving around/exercising made me feel normal again for a few hours.  I even went over to my inlaws house afterwards to eat dinner and actually had an appetite...I have lost 15 pounds in two weeks because I have been so stressed out that I've lost my appetite at times, a lot of that has to do with completely cutting caffeine (pop) and beer out of my diet as well.  Anyway, I even had a beer and a coke to see what would happen tonight and I didn't feel much...I swam over there as well to do more activitity to keep my heart rate up.  Of course I took another Xanax before dinner so that helped as well.  I still have not taken the atenolol, I keep it by me in case I have spell and just have to cave in to take it....but I think if I can stay active during the day and get some exercise....and get some assistance from Xanax I can maybe beat this thing.  I can't tell you how nice it was to feel normal and not feel any of these things (or at least very isolated ones) throughout the afternoon/evening.  I will keep in touch with everyone, thank you for the information and I hope all is doing well.  Have a great rest of the weekend!

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Avatar_f_tn
I am glad you had a better day and were able to go about normal activities.  But I really would try the atenolol.  It isn't going to hurt you to try it for a few days to see if it does help.  I was adamant about not taking it at first.  But I finally caved in and tried it.  Try taking a half of one at first if you are worried about it.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Like you, Iam going crazy with these things.  I bet on a good day, I get 2 a minute and on a bad day, 10 to 12 a minute.  I have them that maybe last a couple weeks and then go away a couple months but this set of them has been going on now for 9 weeks.  Iam going on vacation in 2 weeks and am worried that these things are just going to ruin my vacation.  Going to see a cardio on wednesday.  Can't come soon enough.  

My biggest concern now is that it seems to actually skip a beat.  There is no extra beat.  I know what the extra beat feels like...in fact I can feel the extra beat it in my pulse.  Often times now, it just skips a beat, which now makes me even more worried.  Not sure what that is or maybe its still a pvc or pac, but there is no flip flop or extra beat in my pulse.

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Avatar_f_tn
I dont mean to say AT ALL, that yours are any different than anyone elses...Ive sure been in your shoes and know the worry that goes on. but..to kind of put this in perspective for you...you have a couple, or several, I think you said, in a minute?
On a bad day, I can barely find a GOOD couple in a row. I can take my pulse for a minute & have maybe 10 normal beats.
Sometimes my palps go on and on. And this was ALL caught on several different monitors, and Im STILL told to ignore, that its ok.
So when you feel just a couple..think of ME...sitting not feeling many beats that are normal.
I took Atenolol, a much bigger dose than yours...I took 50 mg in the morning and 50 at night. It controlled mine somewhat for 17 YEARS. then, I think my body got used to it, so I was switched in Aug of last year to Metoprolol, which doesnt seem to do the trick too well.
So...bottom line here....please stop worrying. Much easier said that done, I know--Im sitting here as I type having one after the next.
And yes, Xanax is VERY safely taken with Atenolol...Ive been on both meds for that 17 years....
I do want to caution you on one thing. I always thought once they put a person on a beta blocker ( Atenolol) its a daily medication, and you should try never to miss a dose? Thats what my cardio told me. Its not a "take it now and then" pill. I may be wrong, but I know my Dr told me to take it every day at the same time, and never, ever go off it without going off very slowly.
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1375460_tn?1280025013
Thanks CFS56, I appreciate the kind words.  I woke up this morning and I've had a couple.  I am going to get the kids ready, head out to the zoo (another way to stay active) and pop a Xanax.  I definitely think I will end up taking the atenolol.  However, I have a float trip planned with friends two weeks from yesterday.  I would like to be able to have some beers during that time and I've heard you should not mix aclohol with beta blockers (can anyone confirm that)?  

mrcoop, sorry to hear how often you have them, hopefully the cardiologist can get you something that will help them go away on your vacation so you can get away; and enjoy it!  They are no fun and in the short time that I've had them I realize that they can control your life!!!  Especially if you let them...yesterday at noon I felt like a zombie, I told my wife I don't know how I can like this....I already suffer from regular anxiety and excess worrying....so this these palps are a huge curveball!  I thought mine were skipping a beat also, that is why I first went to the ER....but they told me I was having an early beat and since that beat was early there was a little more time before the next regular beat and that is why it felt like a skipped beat.  

ihatepalps2.....wow, I fell bad complaining about mine after hearing how many you have at times...and I have been dealing with this for 2 weeks, sounds like you have for several years.  When did yours first start, how old were you?  Thank you for letting me know about the atenolol and xanax being safe to take together...and that if you take it you need to be very persistant in taking it everyday at the same time, that is good to know!  I will try my best to stop worrying, I will continue to use the xanax and try to stay active....I'm hopeful that if I lose the 20 pounds I need to lose and stay active with exercise 4-5 times a week that it will help me shake these things as well.  Another thing, I try to think of those who have much worse problems than me....even though these things are disconcerting and scary, I have been told by several people who have them, and also a few doctors that they are benign, I've even had some tests done to look at my heart....so I try to remember that and also remember all the men and women who have died at such a young age overseas protecting our Country...and all those people out there that have much worse problems than me that are truly life threatening....I need to spend more time enjoying life, being thankful for what I have, and then maybe I can beat these palps and not let them win and control my life.  I tell you what though, it sure helps talking with all of you on this board, I don't have any friends around me that experience this that I know of, but to talk with others that know what I am going through sure does help.  My mother in law had PVC's off and on her whole life....she also has high blood pressure, she had an episode of PVC's constantly, every minute she had several for a several weeks....she doesn't worry like me though, her doc told her it was ok and didn't even want to give her meds for it....but ended up giving her meds for the high blood pressure which he said would also could help the palps.  

Thank goodness for this forum.....thank you all for the kind words, it helps me out tremendously.  Please, everyone enjoy your day, try to stay active and good luck in our journey to not let the palps control our lives!

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793815_tn?1285495056
I went through all of what you speak of and mine kept getting worse. I ended up having an ablation at Cedars-Sinai because mine were so out of control. Those three words "out of control" to a control freak and worry wart are the hardest part of this condition. Xanax is commonly prescribed to arrhythmia patients as per my EP. Take it, it helps. I take it at night only now. I am not so symptomatic now too. I have pacs and sometimes even pvcs but am a much calmer person and got my life back. My rhythm is much better post ablation and I feel better. It will get better. Your cardiologists will help you manage your rhythm. It takes a long while to get comfortable with this condition. I had terrible rhythm before with tachy-brady syndrome. I was a nervous person prior to all of this and I was a basket case when things got so bad. It makes me feel so much better to read all of your posts and see that I am not the only one who feels this way. My arrhythmia was triggered when I slept because of sleep apnea. With the CPAP and Xanax, I can now finally go to sleep again and not worry that I may wake up with a hr of 225bpm like I used to. I didn't sleep for months. I worried all of the time. I am so much better now. It will get better. Anxiety does us no good. Take the xanax and try to relax. I have a massage and do breathing exercises now to calm down and try to go to a zen place when I feel andrenaline and axiety coming on. It works! Good luck and try not to stress. Easier said than done! I know what you describe all too well
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