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Newly diagnosed, does metoprolol work?
Laying in bed on the morning of 11/30 I started getting a fast irregular heartbeat and was lightheaded, nauseated, and had chest tightness. After about an hour I called the doctor, who said to go to the ER. By the time I was able to get childcare and get to the hospital, it had resolved. They recommended following up with a cardiologist if I had further symptoms.
Since then I've had frequent palpitations during the day and episodes that my fitbit has classified as afib every day or every other day lasting 5-10 minutes. Brought the PDFs of these to my first cardiology appointment and he diagnosed paroxysmal afib based on them and did an echo which came back normal. He put me on metropolol and said that after a few weeks of being on this, afib should go away and stay gone since I have no structural abnormalities.
I've been on it for a week now, and still having a lot of palpitations. Slightly fewer afib episodes - only 3 in the last week, but they are lasting longer - closer to an hour.
Has anyone ever had short term metropolol "cure" their afib?
AHAModerator, January 6, 2021 8:28am EST
Thanks for sharing your story with the community. I am sorry to hear you have been experiencing these symptoms from your recent diagnosis, but I am glad that you are in the care of a cardiologist. Unfortunately, I am not a medical provider but I can share a few resources with you that may be helpful regarding Atrial Fibrillation Medications and the Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation. Please continue to update us on how you are feeling - we're rooting for you!
The AHA Team
MellanieSAF, January 9, 2021 10:56am EST
I am sorry that you have afib.
Medications do not cure afib; they protect you from the effects of afib. There are three kinds of medications for afib:
1. Rate control, to keep the heart rate under control, and slow the heart down when it goes too fast - sometimes, slowing the heart rate will convert you out of afib, but it is primarily to avoid the fast beat from going to the ventricles (lower chambers) and causing more serious issues. Metoprolol is a rate control medication.
2. Rhythm control, to put the heart back in normal sinus rhythm.
3. Stroke prevention - these don't affect your afib, but do protect you from strokes caused by afib. They are generally given to those over 65 and/or with other conditions that increase your stroke risk (high blood pressure, heart failure, heart disease, etc.).
Doctors typically start those who are newly-diagnosed on rate control medications, and will try other options, if needed. Since you are having fewer, but longer, episodes, it's appropriate to report that information back to your doctor. Your doctor may wish to adjust your metoprolol dose, or consider other options, now or soon.
ATice, January 22, 2021 9:50am EST
This is very helpful. I am just undergoing many tests to determine the extent of my a fib but I'm scared to death, and it's so helpful to know that there's a group of people out there offering guidance, support, and information for those of us just ****** into this journey. I am 46 and have just started having symptoms last week and the frequency of episodes seems to be increasing over the past few days. I was put on a monitor, and prescribed metropolol yesterday and am starting it today. I really hope it helps!
Thumper2, January 23, 2021 8:55am EST
Winnifred55 and ATice, glad you're here (but not glad you have AFib!). Are you seeing an electrophysiologist (EP)? They are the cardiologists who specialize in treating AFib. I hope the metoprolol has a positive effect, but, as Mellanie pointed out, "Medications do not cure afib; they protect you from the effects of afib." However, over the long haul, even if you reach an acceptable state of heart rhythm (as I did, on meds), it may be that your heart is slowly re-modeling itself in negative ways. Years later, when I finally saw an EP, my heart had gotten in bad shape, so that even having ablations did not help (long story....). So, I hope you will talk to your EPs about getting an ablation, which is the closest thing to a "cure" for AFib that one can get. Also, keep reading -- the whole field of dealing with AFib is constantly changing and improving. See the resources at StopAfib.org and keep us posted on how you are coming along!