Atrial fibrillation and medication side effects

Posted by Karenatmayo @karenatmayo, May 22, 2017

I have atrial fibrillation with very bothersome symptoms and started flecainide 3 weeks ago and sine then have had terrible side effects including dizziness, some nausea, unable to stand for more than a couple of minutes, extreme fatigue. I am now trying a different drug which has worse nausea side effects, some fatigue, etc. I am suffering with these side effects and there cannot return to work yet. Both, however, do relieve afib. Not sure whether to stick it out or explore other options (ablation) I am 68, female.

@hopeful33250

@karenatmayo, Welcome to Mayo Connect, we are pleased that you have joined our online patient support group. I am sorry to hear of the side effects you mentioned in your post. While I’ve never been diagnosed with A-Fib, I do have a problem with rapid heartbeat. I started off with one med that left me with the same side-effects you mentioned and also a problem with excessive, busy dreaming at night (not nightmares, just very vivid dreams). I contacted my cardiologist and he switched me to a new med and it is working quite nicely without the side effects. Do you take the med with meals? Sometimes that can help. If you are still having problems, keep working with your doctor or look for a second opinion. There are lots of options out there.
I would also like to introduce you to one of our moderators @kanaazpereira who will be able to invite some of our other members into your conversation about treatments for A-Fib.
Keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. Teresa

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Hum, vivid dreams are a benefit. Your unconscious is talking to you.

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@karenatmayo

Hi Theresa. Thanks for your note. I do take with meals and am trying to eat more often which does help some but difficult sometimes, especially when you’re not hungry! I am trying an alternate drug now, but it has similar side effects but with more nausea. Seeing doctor again this week. Take care and good luck with your rapid heartbeat. I am exploring magnesium as a possible supplement for that and general heart rhythm issues. Karen

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Magnesium very good.

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@colleenyoung

Welcome to Connect, @braves04
I'm going to invite @predictable @lawsonsa @thankful and others participating in this thread to help answer your question about drugs for aFib and hair loss.

Here are some related articles:

> Drug-induced Hair Loss https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hair-loss/drug-induced-hair-loss-2#1
> Rivaroxaban, dabigatran and apixaban and possible risk of hair loss (alopecia) http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/safety/EWS/2016/RivaroxabanDabigatranAndApixabanRiskofHairLoss.asp

Braves04, how long have you been taking the medications? Did you change anything else in the last 4 months?

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Hi I was diagnosed afib in Feb 2017 since then I went through a number of medicines including dilatarem, Eliquis etc. had my cardio version in Nov 2017 but it did not work. Now for almost a year I was taking Eliquis 5 mg and metoprolol ( first it was tartrate then metaprolol sucinate. I was lethargic and dull also had excessive hair loss. So the dose was reduced to 50 mg. But it did not help,much. Last month I was given Tikosyn ( dofelitide) first 0.5 mg then 0.25 mg in the hospital ( 3 days I was in hospital) it had immediate effect. After two dose I was in normal sinus rhythm and now after three weeks my ECG is normal. I was very much scared to go through this treatment as it can have a severe reaction and can be fatal. But I am pleased it is working with my fibrillation. Now I do not take metaprolol. Just Eliquis twice a day and Tikosyn twice a day. It is wonderful.

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I take those also. And doing well most of the time.

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I have been taking Flecainide every day, since my diagnosis of Afib back in 2009. I originally was started in the Hospital on 50mg which stopped my afib immediately. In May of 2017 I was experiencing occasional afib episodes, so my doctor upped my dosage from 50mg twice a day, to 100mg a day. It not only stopped my afib episodes but my PVC's ( which I have had since a teenager ) as well. When I moved to another state, my new doctor said I was taking too many pills. I had also been taking Metoprolol 25 mg daily, to lower my blood pressure. My new doc said I didn't need to be taking the Met. so took me off of it. The only side affect I had was when I weaned off of the Met. Had a lot of PVC's as well as PAC's but both stopped soon afterwards. My blood pressure has been normal without it. Honestly I have not noticed any side affects. I do occasionally get depressed, but I blame that on my condition, not on the meds. I would really like to be free of this, but I realize once you have it, you have it for life. I lead a relatively normal active life otherwise. My new doc really seems to think I dont' have afib, because he has never detected a single PAC. Had me wear a holter for a month, said not single one. Yet afterwards I had several short episodes of afib ( I know because I feel them, it's like my heart just jumps all over the place ) PVC's on the other hand feel much stronger to me, and feel like my heart pauses. Sorry for giving too much information. I take only aspirin 325mg daily as a blood thinner. This doc had suggested Elequis, but said since I haven't had any real episodes, it is not needed at this time.

Liked by healthytoday

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I am 69 have had 3 ablutions. Have had some reoccurrence of a fib but for most part in normal sinus. I don’t want to take flecanite or other meds with side effects. I’m careful not to have caffeine and bo alcohol. I think some of the meds have too many side effects. Had ablation at Mayo Clinic and they were wonderful.

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I have somewhat controlled Afib also hypertension. This all started when I was 55. I’m 71 now. My Dr tried beta blockers & calcium channel blockers, none of these really helped. Mostly they just wiped me out to the point that just walking through my home made me short of breath & my heart rate went way up.
My Dr didn’t want to put me on an antiahymic until he was sure I didn’t have heart disease ( clogged arteries ). He did a Stress test & I passed out at just a few steps. My rate went very high & I had lots of PCS’s & ischemia in my LAD. I had to have arteriogram. I was clear for blockage. He then put me on Rhythmol (propafenone ). I have done great on it. I still have to take BP meds. He didn’t want to use beta or calcium channel blockers since I was taking the Propafenone. I’m on vasotec. I have to take extra at times but it’s good for the most part. I’m really tiny (90#) so it’s hard to understand why I have all this. I have to be careful with anything I take. No decongestants at all & no steroids. They really affect my heart rate. This is just my experience. I stay anxious all the time that I’ll get sick & can’t take things.

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Hi @sandyabbey you may have noticed I moved your post to this existing discussion on medications for atrial fibrillation. Click VIEW & REPLY in your email to see what others have said about atrial fibrillation medication.

I wanted to introduce you to fellow Connect members @kenny48 @healthytoday and @kancha as they may be able to offer suggestions and share their stories with medications to treat atrial fibrillation.

Back to you @sandyabbey you mentioned you are anxious all they time, how are you feeling right now both physically and emotionally?

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I wondered where my post was. I just so happened to go,to number 2 & saw it. I’m doing ok right now with my Afib. I do have chronic nausea. I had it all the time for a while. It had slipped & I Feldman good except that my BP would shoot up for no reason , or it seemed like no reason. My cardiologist let’s me take an extra enalapril if it gets up to much & doesn’t come down. He also gave me clonidine 0.1 for systolic over 170. I haven’t taken that yet. I have knowledge of cardiac because I worked in a cardiac care u it for 14 years. That’s been 20 years ago, but I’ve kept up with things. It’s hard to understand why mu Bp jumps up like that. I’m only 90 pounds I was 105 & dropped to 85 for a while due to a difficult case of Cdiff softer taking clindamycin for a bad sinus infection. I’m still not out of the woods on that yet. I failed Flagyl twice, then vancomycin & just finished Dificid. I’m 13 days off of that. I’m anxious about that too. I was taken to the hospital by ambulance after the relapse after 10 days off vancomycin. My Afib didn’t act up during all that & my Bp was low due the dehydration. Yes I’m nervous. I’m very tiny & with these heart & Bp problems & also with all my medical knowledge it doesn’t help. I’ve been in sinus rhythm for a long time now. As soon as I got on propafenone it has been ok mostly. It has taken a toll on my quality of life because I don’t feel well lots. I have a great cardiologist though. I’m just wondering if maybe a propafenone on,y once a day instead of Am & Pm might still hold me. We tried it once a couple of years ago & my rate got up more than he liked ( around 90 ). Any input appreciated. Where do I find my post from now on ? I just happened to find it after it was moved.

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@ethanmcconkey

Hi @sandyabbey you may have noticed I moved your post to this existing discussion on medications for atrial fibrillation. Click VIEW & REPLY in your email to see what others have said about atrial fibrillation medication.

I wanted to introduce you to fellow Connect members @kenny48 @healthytoday and @kancha as they may be able to offer suggestions and share their stories with medications to treat atrial fibrillation.

Back to you @sandyabbey you mentioned you are anxious all they time, how are you feeling right now both physically and emotionally?

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I’m not so good at the moment. I got a bad case of Cdiff after taking clindamycin. I e relapsed 3 times. Right now I’m better I think. I failed Flagyl & vancomycin. They have me Dificid & I’m 16 days off of it. I’m hoping I’m ok. If not I’ll ha d to have the FMT. That has had an impact on my emotional health. Mo far my heart & meds have been mostly ok I’m just happy to have good DRs.

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@sandyabbey

I’m not so good at the moment. I got a bad case of Cdiff after taking clindamycin. I e relapsed 3 times. Right now I’m better I think. I failed Flagyl & vancomycin. They have me Dificid & I’m 16 days off of it. I’m hoping I’m ok. If not I’ll ha d to have the FMT. That has had an impact on my emotional health. Mo far my heart & meds have been mostly ok I’m just happy to have good DRs.

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@ethanethanmcconkey When you moved my post I can never find it unless I move to lots of different places. If I can’t find it then I can’t get any use of it.

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@sandyabbey

@ethanethanmcconkey When you moved my post I can never find it unless I move to lots of different places. If I can’t find it then I can’t get any use of it.

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Hi @sandyabbey if you click VIEW&REPLY in the email notification for this message you will be able to find your original post. The post is now located in a conversation titled "Atrial Fibrillation and medication side effects" in the "Heart Rhythm Conditions" group.

You can also find your original post at this link: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/side-efects/?pg=3#comment-258959

I hope this is helpful.

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Hi @sandyabbey

Once a post gets moved and is hard to find you can always go to your picture at the top of the screen. Click on the down arrow and then click on My Profile and then scroll down. It will show all of the posts you have made and the title (or the category) where they are located. I hope this helps. If not, ask more questions!

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@lawsonsa

I take flecainide for afib. I started on 1 tablet morning and evening and found that the afib was controlled but my mood was moe grumpy. My doctor suggested I lower the dose which I have been doing. I have had an afib episode about every 3 months, but my mood improved. Has anyone else experienced this mood effect with flecainide?

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Yes I have. But I thought maybe it was because I felt so terrible from it. My head feels almost like a numb feeling. I cant focus. Hands shake. Fatigued… awful.. I'm only 49

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Has anyone noticed coughing as a side effect of Metoprolol, generic for Troprol? I took Valsarton for years and had a cough all that time, thinking it was an allergy not connected with the drug. But I went off Valsarton and my cough was almost non-existent. Now I'm taking Metoprolol and noticing a dry cough the past few days.

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