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I am newly diagnosed with AFib at age 78 (male) 2 months ago. Fatigue only major symptom
at this time. Immediately started on Eliquis for anitcoagulation and followed by cardioversion
just a week ago. Dr then started propafenone as antiarrythmic and I will have echo and
stress test this next week. Would appreciate knowing others experience and thoughts.
AHAModerator, January 9, 2021 8:09pm EST
Welcome to the Support Network and thank you for sharing your story with the community.
Unfortunately, I'm not a medical professional so I can't answer any specific questions, but AHA has some resources on Atrial Fibrillation that may be helpful:
Keep us informed on your progress and best of luck with working with your doctors!
AHA Support Team
DkinAA, January 11, 2021 1:32pm EST
I can share a bit about my experience. I'm 73 male, diagnosed about 5 years ago. It's good that fatigue is your only major symptom, because a lot of us experience great anxiety during an episode, which is tiring, distracting, and anxiety producing all by itself! I've also been on Eliquis, and about a year ago, my EP clinic started me on propafenone as well. At first it was "pill in the pocket" - take when having an episode, with a beta blocker, propranol, as another pill in the pocket in case my heart rate got over 100. That worked, but after awhile I had to take it every couple of days, so we went for a regular dose to one tablet three times/day. That quit working well, so we increased the dose again using an extended release capsule twice a day. Over the last few weeks, I'm having an increase in episodes again. For me, stress is a trigger for an episode, and the combination of pandemic and politics this winter has been pretty stressful - and maybe eating too much sugary stuff for Thanksgiving and Christmas season - lots of us seem to have triggers like salty foods, alcohol, dehydration.
So I'll be checking in with the clinic again about where we go from here. There is another antiarrythmic drug of the same type to try, flecainide, or maybe a yet higher dose of the propafenone. On the other hand, maybe its time to look into the ablation route. It seems that often afib gets worse with time. On the other hand, there are people that have been stable on the antiarrythmics for many years. On the third hand, some people never have a recurrence - like a relative of mine!
I hope your echo and stress test goes well. I had one a couple of months ago and it was reassuring in that my heart still pumps well even after some years of afib episodes.
Something else that is often involved with afib treatment: My EP set me up for a sleep study as part of the initial workup: turned out I had a moderate level of sleep apnea, and have been using a CPAP machine ever since. This seems to have a helped the afib, and I certainly sleep a lot better ... you might want to look into that also.
The most important thing I've learned from following this site is that this is a very individual condition - each of us essentially has our own version of afib, and what works well for one, may not work for another - we respond very differently to drugs and their side effects. So we each have to work with our docs to find out what works well for us.
Let us know how it goes!