litani
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litani, August 11,  2020  1:01pm EST

New to Afib

I am a very healthy 56 year old male with no medical conditions. On August 4th, I played cards with friends and had few drinks and smoked few cigars. I woke up at 4am feeling like my heart was going to come out of my chest. I went to the emergency room. They gave me IV and later on they put me on Metoprolol. The first 24 hours I was on 25 mg.  After that I was put on 50mg.  About 26 hours later, my heart rhythm was back to normal and I was discharged that day. I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation, Paroxysmal and Atrial Flutter, Paroxysmal. The emergency doctor put me on Metoprolol 50mg twice a day. I have some questions:

I exercise a lot, so my resting heart rate was 63.  Now it is 51.  This is when I am awake.  I am sure it is going to 40s when I sleep.  Also, my blood pressure used to be normal and now it is low.  Should I keep taking the meds?

If I take meds for the rest of my life, would that prevent another episode?

After corona virus my drinking has gone up and I am sure it was a major contributor to the start of Afib.  Has anyone successfully stopped Afib episodes through lifestyle changes?

6 Replies
  • Juanita71
    Juanita71, August 17,  2020  5:12pm EST

    metopolol is a blood thinner and can be very dangerous if stopped all of a sudden. also dont take alcohol or asperin or ibuprophen with it it can cause a stroke. My husband just got diagnosed and that is what we wer cautioned about with this. best of luck to you.

     

  • Thumper2
    Thumper2, August 18,  2020  8:20am EST

    Juanita71, are you sure that metoprolol is a "blood thinner"?  I've never heard that before -- are there doctors out there who can comment?

    Litani, regarding your comments on taking meds for the rest of your life, please see the recent comments by Mellanie:

    MellanieSAF August 17,  2020  9:25pm EST

    "Medication can be a good starting point, but over time, the medications can fail.

    "The best way to stop the progression is to stop the afib. Catheter ablation is being considered a first line treatment for afib, so having that sooner rather than later can help stop the progression. Or, surgery is another option to stop it. 

    "The less time you spend in afib, the less likely it will be to "set in" and progress to persistent."

    As for lifestyle changes which help stop AFib, many folks here have described what helped them, but I think it is exceedingly rare that that worked over a lifetime.  Keep us posted, as to how things are going for you!

    Thumper2 (Judhy)

  • axnr911
    axnr911, August 18,  2020  6:30pm EST

    Your medication is not a blood thinner.  It is a beta blocker and is used to slow the heart so it doesn't  have afib.    I didn't tolerate beta blockers well so my cardiologist put me on a calcium channel blocker, dilitiazem 180 mg ex. r. (Cartia).  I'm doing alright on that.  It did slow my heart though to about 43 during the day and I  couldn't function, so I got a Pacemaker, which is fine, and I am doing much better.  Sometimes you have to play around with meds and dosages to find what works for you.  Maybe you could go back on 25 mg. If you don't feel good tell the doc.  Squeaky wheel gets the oil.. P.S. My stroke was caused by the afib, so you really want to keep that under control.  I also take aspirin and Eliquis  now--blood thinners

  • MellanieSAF
    MellanieSAF, August 19,  2020  11:00am EST

    For clarity, there are three kinds of medications for treating afib, which are used in combination with each other.

    1. Rate control: Metoprolol is a beta blocker, which is a medication to control the heart rate. Calcium channel blockers are another class of medication to control the heart rate. Digoxin is a third class of rate control medication, but is not used as much any more. (If stopping beta blockers, doctors will wean you off of them slowly to avoid a rebound effect.)

    2. Rhythm control: Also called antiarrhythmic drugs (AADs). These control the heart rhythm.

    3. Anticoagulants: Also called blood thinners by patients. The anticoagulants prescribed for daily use for stroke prevention by those with afib are: Coumadin (warfarin), Eliquis (apixaban), Pradaxa (dabigatran), Savaysa (edoxaban), and Xarelto (rivaroxaban).  

    Aspirin is an antiplatelet drug, not an anticoagulant. (Antithrombotic is the category into which antiplatelets and anticoagulants belong, but each serves a different purpose.) 

    Aspirin is no longer recommended for stroke prevention for those with afib (in the guidelines for doctors). It may be prescribed or recommended for you for heart disease or a recent stent, but not afib. Taking aspirin along with other blood thinners is best done under doctor guidance because of the risk of bleeding when taking both together. 

    Mellanie

  • ewNY1
    ewNY1, September 2,  2020  12:30am EST

    There are 2 types of metoprolol, succinate (long lasting) and tartrate (fast acting). I think you are prescribed the long acting one. Metoprolol is a beta blocker which can lower your heart rate. When afib attacks, our heart rate can go up to150 or higher, which is dangerous and might cause a stroke. 50mg twice daily seems fine, but please check with your doctor if you need to take it for long term because it carries some side effects.

    Afib doesn't go away itself easily but lifestyle changes can definitely help to live better (with better heart). I would check with your EP and see if you are a candidate of ablation. And now, you can start your diet.

    I'm an afib survivor and have been maintaining a healthy diet and living style, my afib seems well under control after 2 ablations.

    Best,

    -E

  • Neanderthal
    Neanderthal, December 2,  2020  2:29pm EST

    OK...so it's a fact that smoking and/or drinking contribute to AFIB so stop that now.  I know it's easier said than done but you have to stop....now.  Today.  That said, what I did was get one of those cheap electrocardiograms you can get at the pharmacy for about $100 and start monitoring yourself.  I started backing off on the prescribed medecine doses while monitoring my heart.  At this point, the only medication I"m taking is Eliquis and I notice no side effects with that.  I determined that my AFIB is caused by dehydration and eating salty/fatty foods.  As we get older we need to be more careful about what we take into our bodies.

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