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Avatar universal

Arrhythmias and treatment side effects

I am 45 ys young, and was hospitalized in August from an ER visit for arrhythmias and panic/anxiety that would not calm down.  I am now currently taking 50mg toprol xl, 200 mg amiodarone daily, and as needed, 5 mg diazepam.  I seem to feel better, but still have off days. I am not sure what to expect long term for the particular meds I am taking. I had a 24 hour IV of Amiodarone in the hospital after an MRI and echocardiogram of my heart showed no structural abnormality.  I believe the IV was to see how I responded to such a strong anti-arrhythmia medicine.  
I am a worrier and have lived with the PVC's and PAC's since my early 20's. I have been seen by several cardiologists over the last 20 yrs. I have been told as ALL the others here at this site, that I have nothing to worry about, yet as I have aged, it has gotten worse.  I am anxious, but it is from the feelings in my chest and often labored breathing that bring it on.  My new cardiolgist is very caring and open to some alternative therapies too...but right now, until we get to a better place, he wants me to take these meds.  My QUESTION: Am I in danger from taking the anti-arrhthmia drug?  I want to do what ever is best for me and my children in the long run of course.  This forum is very helpful, seems to calm me when I read all the posts. I am very happy to finally have the chance to post a question.  I am concerned about the long term effects of the drugs and probably worry too much. On good days, I feel normal, and some days there's a weird anxious feeling, I worry about side effects being the cause.  Thank you
26 Responses
74076 tn?1189759432

As you know from reading the forum, you are not alone with your symptoms.

Am I in danger from taking the anti-arrhthmia drug? I want to do what ever is best for me and my children in the long run of course.

I do not use a lot of amiodarone in young people unless there are no other alternatives.  It sounds to me like their are other options.  I am not clear on why you are talking the amiodarone.  Amiodarone is typically reserved for ventricular tachycardia or difficult atrial fibrillation.  If the medication is to treat symptomatic pac/pvcs and have tests confirming that you don't have CAD, flecainide and propafenone are good choices.  If you have coronary disease, sotolal is another option.  Amiodarone has many short and long term side effects and I only use it when I have to.

The best thing to do is take nothing or a beta blocker for PVCs or PACs.  If the symptoms are too much, I will try the antiarrhythmic mentioned above.

I hope this answer your questions.  Good luck and thanks for posting.
Avatar universal
I used to be a long time poster here, almost daily for about a year. Hello again everyone who is an old-timer.

Just a brief history, PVCs since I can't remember, probably a child since my sister always blamed me for shaking the bed. But I didn't see a doctor for skipped beats until I was 18. It took until age 30 to get a doctor to "listen" to me. Back then a holter showed on average 400/hr. For a few years I struggled with the anxiety of it all. I think I lost a lot of life to worry. Seemed to go away for a little while (didn't notice them), then wham they kicked up to about 1200/hr on average at age 40(ish). Struggled with anxiety again. Hence coming to this forum almost daily.

I agree 100%, 100%, 100%, 100% with the doctor's response. Take nothing or try a beta-blocker, anti-arrythmics are potent. I tried the beta-blocker route (toperol and inderol) but I didn't ever shake that "good day" "bad day" sense and it didn't change the frequency one bit. I don't think there is a single person out there who knows any better than a PVC sufferer what a "bad day" really is. Doom. The sky appears black.

I have tried lots of natural things, and I know I can't say too much on this board, but I've found I was extremely deficient in Vitamin B complex and minerals. AND synthetic Vitamin B over the counter actually made things worse for me. It has to be natural source. My frequency is slightly decreased, but the awareness of the PVCs is 99% gone. I am blessed. I still get high frequency but I can't remember the last time I realized it. Truly. I can now feel, and allow myself to feel, safe and confident and strong again.

I have been on this regime for three or four months. If I get kicked off this board now, so be it, but I got my information on the cardio regime from Health Alert 800-231-8063. I am not promoting anything and have nothing to benefit. Hope you all experience more good days than bad.
Avatar universal
Thanks for answer and reply. I am on the medications for arryhthmias that are more serious than PVC and PAC's. I was formerly diagnosed with "only PAC's or PVC's. NOW My diagnosis is dysrrhythmia....and during my hospitalization of 6 days in August, they monitored me in the telemetry unit the whole time and prior to release, the cardiologist prescribed the amiodarone.  This concerns me as the side effects it can cause are frightening and do not help with the anxiety, but I am feeling better.  I do not know the duration he will keep me on it and how he will allow me to come off it.  I suppose since I had/have the serious ventricular type irregular beats and he felt the need to put me on it.  The anxiety is the hardest thing to deal with at this point, and the worry about the meds is major.  I am also taking magnesium orally now, and with the amiodarone IV in the hospital, I received 12 grams of mg in the drip as well.  I would like to know if the oral mg is helping, but the intracellular blood test is expensive.  I am also taking selenium for the thyroid levels that were low in lab work prior to hospitalization.  I am trying very hard to do the right thing and regain a better "quality' of life. The arrhythmia's became so bad, and I am not sure why they changed from the benign kind to the serious kind.  Anyone that has comments or ideas, I would appreciate your time in posting them.
God Bless and thanks again.
Avatar universal
Hi Upbeat! Nice to hear from you and that you're doing so much better.
Why should you be kicked out for what you said?? It's very interesting. It doesn't mean taking vitamins will help everyone with PVCs, but it could be another thing to look into. How did you find out you were deficient in some vitamins? I wonder why tests to look for such deficiencies are never ordered.

Personally now I'm doing extremely well with Inderal but it would be interesting to check my vitamin level.


Avatar universal
I'm reading through these because I think I have an arrhythmia too but I can never seem to get a post up in time.  For all of you that have been diagnosed this may sound stupid, but what does it mean if I get an irregular pulse (2 quick beats, pause, beat, pause, quick beat beat beat.. etc) when I get up from sitting for a while, run up the stairs, even walk briskly?  The beats I feel are pretty hard.  Does that sound like anything any of you have experienced?  I just don't know what to do and thought some of you might have insight.  Even resting it seems to go faster then slower once in a while, just not nearly as noticible.  Im a 22 year old female. Thanks all of you so much if you have any insight, sorry to intrude on your post and good luck finding answers yourselves!
Avatar universal
I understand your inquiry.  As you will find in other threads here at this forum, there are many of us that experience what you describe.  Most often, the diagnosis is PAC's or PVC's which are premature beats either in the atria or the ventricles.  It feels like a skipped beat, but is actuall a pause then a quick beat to make up for the pause.  If you type PVC in the search area of this forum, you will get lots of information.  Arrhythmias are a plethera of irregular beats that include PAC's and PVC's, but can be different at different times.  It is completely a mystery and very frustrating to have them.  I also found here in this forum some very interesting information regarding Magnesium deficiency.  Type in Magnesium and the Heart and you will also find lots of information to be considered too.  Keep trying to post a question at different times of the morning.  I was acutally suprised when I did get the opportunity and received an answer almost right away.
Just keep reading here and you will gain an insight that might help you feel much better about what you are feeling.
Best wishes to you and everyone!
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