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Avatar universal

Sudden increase in PVCs

Hi,
   Thank you for taking my question.
HX:  30 y/o old female.  I have history of heart palps, mainly tachycardia, in the past occasional PVCs, except for one episode of PVCs lasting for hours soon after giving birth.  
     Recently for the past couple of weeks I've noticed an increase in PVCs.  I've been getting them every day now, sometimes 2 in a row.  the worst was 4 missed beats one after the other last Saturday.  In the past I would get them occasionally, maybe once every few weeks approx.  My cardio workup has been labs done a year ago, normal resting echo and 21 day event monitor done in August of '03 (this was for tachycardia). Doctor blamed the rapid heartbeat on anxiety.  I've had ekg's, the last being in July of '04, & a stress echo done August '04, which were interpreted as normal.  These were for chest pain.
   My questions are:  (1)  What could be causing this sudden increase in PVCs and should I be concerned?
(2)  Should I have any other tests done?  
(3) Is having 4 PVC's in a row dangerous?  I don't get dizzy when I get the PVCs but sometimes my arms feel numb for a second or two right after getting one.
There have been no changes in my lifestyle.  I smoke about 5-7 ciagarettes a day a maybe a half cup of coffee.  I know this can cause heart palps but it hasn't increased them in the past.  I take .5 mg xanax 2x a day for anxiety.  I haven't been on any other meds and I don't drink.  I do have thalassemia which makes me slightly anemic.  My mom & sister have history of PVCs, but mine have increased suddenly.
Please help:(  
Sincerely,
Pan


41 Responses
239757 tn?1213813182
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
pandora,

thanks for the post.

(1) What could be causing this sudden increase in PVCs and should I be concerned?

With a normal cardiac workup, you should no tbe concerned beyond what you suffer from the palpitations.  If they do not bother you that much symptomatically, then ignore them. Often, people that suffer PVCs have flares. The causes of these are unclear, over time you may begin to associate certain things like poor sleep, caffeine, etx with their occurence and be able to modify those factors.

(2) Should I have any other tests done?

With a negative workup, probably not too much is order other than a visit to your internist for a history and physical.  If something were detected there then other testing could be done.

(3) Is having 4 PVC's in a row dangerous? I don't get dizzy when I get the PVCs but sometimes my arms feel numb for a second or two right after getting one.

No, its not dangerous.


There have been no changes in my lifestyle. I smoke about 5-7 ciagarettes a day a maybe a half cup of coffee. I know this can cause heart palps but it hasn't increased them in the past. I take .5 mg xanax 2x a day for anxiety. I haven't been on any other meds and I don't drink. I do have thalassemia which makes me slightly anemic. My mom & sister have history of PVCs, but mine have increased suddenly


I can't emphasize enough how important tobacco cessation is to your overall health. If you are having anxiety about the effects of a few PVCs, you need to focus this anxiety on the impact that quitting smoking will have on your health. There is no comparison on that impact.


good luck
Avatar universal
I KNOW how aggravating it is to have a "flare" of these aggravating things... I am having skipped beats around the clock -- feels like beat, beat, pause beat.  I have had every test in the book and no one thinks there is anything wrong with my heart so trying to do self talk but this is just TOO MUCH... this stuff started up the day I started zithromax ( antibiotic) for a possible sinus infection/earache... my internist AND EP doc said the drug couldn't be causing the palps but the drug company that MAKES Zithromax, pfizer, lists ventricular arrhythmias as  a possible side effect.
wondered if anyone else has experienced this..

Lynn
Avatar universal
I too have pvcs that are off and on. somedays I get them really bad all day. like dub dub pause THUD. it drives me crazy. I get them more around my cycle. Same here doc says dont worry. very easy for folks to say that dont suffer from these things. Does anyone here get them bad before your cycle? I am told by the doctor that cycles, and hormones have nothing to do with pvcs. This is very hard to believe because that is the bad time I get them. There should be a pvc support group. well take care and hope you all have a pvc free day
Avatar universal
Hi everyone, I'm new here. I am a 40 year old mom of 2 children. I have Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy with an bi-ventricular ICD implant.

I wanted to comment on Zithromax. After taking Zithromax for strep throat, I experienced pretty fast tachycardia and arrhythmias. I was told by the General practice doctor that it would not effect my heart. But I knew something was up.

Thank you LynnSB for the information.
Avatar universal
Here's the link to zithromax info... have to scroll down to side effects to find the heart stuff: http://www.cipro-zithromax-antibiotics.com/zithromax.htm

I am soooooooo miserable.. every couple of beats skipping but my internist and ep doc say i've been checked out thoroughly, nothing to worry about.. i feel like i'm going nuts the pauses are so frequent
Avatar universal
I am interested in how did you symptoms start? I am having symptoms that my ep cardiologist say, probably just pvc's nothing to worry about.  I am wearing a 30 day king of heart monitor to try and capture these events i am having.  I get pains in the chest, rapid beats on and off and those miserable skips along with stomach issues.
Thanks
Joanne
Avatar universal
Hi to all,

Just mailed event monitor back couple hours ago.  Am anxious to see what the next move is.  Had an ablation in april for svt and it did stop that. (runaway rate 250 to 300 bpm) but the pvcs are outrageous, and the tach is back at a off and on thing in 160 bpm or so. Having rate jump & up down extremely.   He says ablation again but wonder if he should do another EP study before ablation.  

44 yr female with history of tach for over 20yrs.  Off and on toprol and of course anti depressants.  On nothing now, don't want it makes me feel bad.  

Really has limited me in my life, when it comes on I get Dazed and confused and can't manage.  Is there anyone that the ablation has helped?
Avatar universal
Thank you for the link regarding Zithromax. I really apprecitate it. I will read it. That is very important for me to know.

Thanks again :)
Eileen
21064 tn?1309312333
Hi!!

I also battled with pvcs and nsvt for many years. They became very troublesome in my early to mid 40's and were driving me nuts.  I had two ablations last year (RVOT and LVOT) and that helped tremendously!!

Recently, I started back on Inderal because of some recurring pvcs. They are not nearly as frequent as in the past, but they can be so uncomfortable.  I would prefer to be RX-free, but for now I'm using the Inderal to lower my slightly elevated BP (new since ablations) and reduct the number of pvcs. UGH!!

Hope you continue to be free of the svt!!

Connie
Avatar universal
I can definitely relate to your miseries. I have had bouts of PVC's (anywhere from 2 or 3 to 20 or more per day that I am AWARE of) along with stubborn sinus tacycardia, LAFB and poor R wave progression...all dismissed by a cardiologist. These problems are miserable and mess with our lives.

Like you, I get a few flares every year (days when I'm convinced that my PVC's will outnumber normal beats and go off in to some fatal abnormality) and I'm a man, so it is not hormonal. My docs put me on Inderal for the heart and Xanax for my overwhelming anxiety and panic attacks. Nothing helps much and my life is ruined to the point where I have given up most activities.

I do not believe the doctors who say these problems are benign. After all of the terrible episodes and expensive tests in my life, I suspect the doctor business is more about sending bills than dispensing diagnosis and treatment.

Best wishes.
Avatar universal
hi! can someone please help me...
im 21/f/somewhat out of shape/ no health insurance
this past week ive been having chest pain that goes into my right soulder/arm/back. I think im having a heart attack but everyone thinks im crazy cuz im only 21. my father is 45 and has already had 2 operations to put stems in his heart (clogged arterys) and at 21 my brother was diagnosed with a heart condition that when he gets stressed the muscles contract blocking blood flow to the heart. the doctor gave him some meds for when hes stressed and his chest hurts to take them. I've been under severe stress these past few weeks because my fiance is in the process of finding out if hes getting deployed to iraq (hes leaving monday). Im thinking maybe its heriditary? i have no pain whatsoever on my left side. just my right. someone told me it was athritis .. i dont think thats it. someone also told me you know its a heart attack when you have shortness of breath .. but then when i start checking my breathing patterns i have shortness of breath (but i think its in my head). can someone PLEASE help me
Avatar universal
Did you have an echocardiogram done? If you did then the doctors and you would know if you had something as serious as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. My brother died from this condition when he was 34 years old. I have a family history of this. My parents never had me tested for it when I was a child so I did not know I had this until I was pregnant. When I was pregnant, I became very dizzy while lying down, I went to the ER and they ran tests.

Please try not to worry, if you were checked out by doctors and had tests done, then you don't have this. They can easily diagnose this condition with an echocardiogram. Plus there is usually a loud heart murmur associated with this. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a pretty rare condition that is usually congential (I was born with this).

I hope that the doctors can find out what is causing your PCVs and rapid heart beats. I wish you the best :)
Eileen
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