Nikkie
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Nikkie, March 20,  2016  7:07am EST

Pacemakers and driving

Hi everyone. I have a-fib tachycardia and because of some of my other meds I can't tolerate beta-blockers. My Cardiologist and EP want to put in a pacemaker/defibrillator..My question is there anyone out there who has one and are you aloud to drive after having one put in. I have heard conflicting reports as to weather they take your license.Does anyone know about this? I don't see my Doctor until next month so I am curious.

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4 Replies
  • Jeanamo
    Jeanamo, March 20,  2016  8:04am EST
    I have a pacemaker (not a defibrillator) and I drive all the time....have never had anyone say I shouldn't.  My pacemaker was installed to keep my heart rate from going below 60 BPM while taking amiodarone...then later sotalol.  I am no longer taking a beta blocker (but of course I still have the pacemaker). I have a number of friends with pacemakers and they all drive.  I don't know about the pacemaker/defibrillator combination, but I am sure there are people in this group who have one.  My sister had a defibrillator and she could drive...so I doubt that it is restricted. If it is, it could vary from state to state.  Hope you will get a definitive answer from someone in this forum.  Your doctor can tell you when you see him/her.  Best wishes!
  • JBNZ
    JBNZ, March 20,  2016  10:35pm EST
    Here in New Zealand we are allowed to drive if we have an ICD/pacemaker - I have one and drive.I believe if we have an SCA (sudden cardiac arrest) whether our ICD fires or not we are not allowed to drive for 6 months. So sometimes people incorrectly believe that if the ICD fires then they can't drive for 6 months. It wasn't the ICD shock that meant they couldn't drive it was the SCA.This is as I understand it for New Zealand, your local rules may differ :-)Here's a link to a info for US-based (I think) patients - http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/implantable-cardioverter-defibrillator/basics/results/prc-20015079And a quote from that webpage"The guidelines discourage driving during the first six months after your procedure if your ICD was implanted due to a previous cardiac arrest or ventricular arrhythmia."As I read it the ban or 'discouragement' is because of the cardiac arrest/ventricular arrhythmia.It sounds like you would be fine to drive (once you have recovered from the procedure of course!) after your ICD was implanted as you mention neither a cardiac arrest nor ventricular arrhythmia. But of course check with your cardiologist.Hope that helps John
  • marylandpm
    marylandpm, March 21,  2016  7:59am EST
    I could not drive for one week after getting my pacemaker.  You are safer with the pacemaker than you were before you get it if you have bardycardia and could passout. I don't think you are allowed to pilot a commerical aircraft or be a policeman or fireman. Good luck, I think you will be fine.Jack
  • Becky817
    Becky817, March 22,  2016  8:51am EST
    Hi,I have had a pacemaker and progressed to having a defibrillator currently.  Post-surgey, I had to take it easy for about a week.  I drive and work full-time and live a very full life.Thanks,Becky.
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