Af and fainting

Posted , 9 users are following.


i have today been discharged from hospital after 8 days. I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago with persistent AF, went home and was re-admitted because I was having so many fainting spells. (Not a total faint but enough to lose limb strength and flop over).

the medical team booked me in for a cardio version, but the consulatant was very cross that they had done so, and wanted to discharge me. Whilst waiting  to go to theatre he came to see me on the ward and brusquely told me that I now had AF for life, the cardioversion may not work and the fainting episodes (that started at exactly the same time as the AF) were not connected. He then said that the faints were caused by stress and anxiety on my part and to quote him "what was I going to do about it?). I was confused and  I promptly burst into tears and wanted to discharge myself, he turned on his heel and left.  The cardiology nurse and ward staff consoled me and said they felt I should have the cardioversion that day, as they had planned. Which I did. After the treatment I felt so much better and my heart was back in sinus rhythm.

now at home, I am not 100%, feeling weak and fatigued. I am a 64 yr old, normally very fit woman, and this has hit a bit hard.

i am now trying to put the issue with the doctor behind me,but I do not wish to  be in the care of him.

i am taking Bisoprolol twice a day, Digoxin, and Riveroxaban. I also have Nitrolingual spray to use under the tongue if needed.

does anyone have experience of fainting spells alongside AF?

(I haven't had one since the cardioversion.

many thanks to anyone in advance who can help.

0 likes, 10 replies

10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Mags, I have the same as you, feeling faint and on two occasions actually passing out with no warning.

    I had my second ablation in March of this year and came home from the hospital in a terrible state. Every few seconds I felt a heat rushing up from my core to my head, then feeling I would faint.

    Since then I have calmed down a lot but am still getting the odd one or two. I get these sensations after my heart has been in fibrillation and at the time it reverts to sinus rhythm. So it must be the heart adjustingl

    Itself that causes this to happen.

    I was taking Bisoprolol and my cardiologist has stopped this after a 24 hour holter showed a good response. I am still taking flecainide and anticoagulant.

    I do sympathise with you but can't give you an answer until I am further down the line and things return (hopefully) to normal.

  • Posted

    Wow you poor thing. I personally don't have fainting spells but I know of others that do. If I were you I would certainly get a second opinion on all that you've been through. Here in Canada I would report this type of behavior to the college of physicians and surgeons. I hope things get better for you.

  • Posted

    i was only diagnosed in August of this year with AFIB- after suffering two weeks with pounding heart, feeling faint and weak and very lighteheaded and thinking it was stress i finallty went to dr- the beta blocker helped right away but i was still in afib for another week or so- but then i went back into sinus rhythm and did noot need cardioversion- but YES, i felt faint many times a few times i almost went down- and i was so weak could not walk but a few min without legs buckliing

    That dr you had was a shameful excuse for a dr. do not deal with him- glad u r doing better!

  • Posted

    What country are you in Mags? Pretty extraordinary behaviour by both consultant and medical team in A&E? Can you have been in permananent AF if the cardioversion put you back in sinus rhythm.

    Thats a lot of drugs too. Second opinion from another consultant in another hospital might be a good idea? 

    • Posted

      I'm in the UK. I cannot fault the care I received from the medical team. I can only assume that the consultant thought I should go home and wait for the outpatients appointment for the cardioversion, but that was two weeks away but I had obviously was not been able  to walk out of hospital without fainting. 

      He had also bluntly said that AF would return anyway after the  cardioversion.  I feel that before I ask for a second opinion elsewhere, I should learn much more about AF as it is so new to me, plus I'm not very energetic at the moment, just glad to be home!

      thank y9ou so much for your reply.

  • Posted

    NEVER let that medical consultant near your again!  His/her treatment of your was disgraceful and unprofessional. Fainting in older people especially is a sign of  Afib and what usually triggers a diagnosis in the first place.  I was what I considered in excellent health til I started fainting while at the gym.  I was diagnosed with afib and have had aggressive treatment for the past year; i.e, ablation surgery last March, a pacemaker inserted in August and facing another ablation next month (5 hospitalizations so far this year).  Afib is a serious -- but treatable -- disease.  Become as knowledgeable and proactive as you can be.  Good luck. 
    • Posted

      Thank you so much. Yours is the fourth comment I have had confirming that fainting is part of the problem. I am slowly arming myself with information in case I have the misfortune to meet him again.!

      best wishes to you too.

    • Posted

      It is true that afib can return again after a cardioversion -- the same is true after an ablation -- sometimes you can stay in NSR for years, sometimes days, sometimes months.  Sometimes they don't work at all.  It is different for everyone. 

  • Posted

    Hi Mags

    I'm so sorry to hear all the problems that you have been having,I have had AF for a number of years without knowing but within the last year I have been receiving treatment.Like you I have had  spells of fainting and nearly passing out. My Gp has changed my Bisoprolol now to Adizem at first 120mg but now as the Bp was going very high to 90mg per day,I,m also on warfarin,there has been talk of Cadioversion,but I'm still awaiting for a appointment so see the Cardiolist again,the new med however is giving me very bad head aches and the AF has increased.I do so hope that you will be feeling really well and 100% again very soon.

    Kind regards


    • Posted

      Hi Pauline, thanks for your reply. I presume Adizem is a beta blocker? Why was it changed , especially if the AF is increasing? I was prescribed digoxin last week when bisoprolol wasn't working on its own. I had also been prescribed the anticoagulant riveroxaban 3 weeks ago as it is a more convenient alternative to warfarin. (No regular clinic visits and no fluctuation in dosage, plus no food issues either.)

      i had a 2 day horrendous headache whilst in hospital but fortunately that has eased with doses of paracetamol and very limited doses of ibuprofen.

      im on my third day since the cardioversion and its great at least, not to have the pressure in my chest and throat. I'm feeling more human although I wouldn't like to walk very far. I'm very wary of doing anything strenuous, (if I could!) as I'm not sure what triggered the AF. I hope this isn't an example of my life from now on, plus I've been told not to drive (if I could!!!) because of the fainting.

      i hope you improve too and perhaps we can keep in touch.

      best wishes 


Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the community to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the community are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the community is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.