Anxiety and Afibnow can take nothing

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I was diagnosed 5 years ago as suffering with GAD ( Generalised Anxiety Disorder)  for which I was given Citalopram.and I was told I would have to always take it.

In July of last year I was diagnosed with Afib and given medication to control my heartrate,  and thin my blood.

Unfortunately my Anxiety meds clash with my Afib meds so I cannot take my Anxiety medication any longer, and it appears that no Anxiety medication can be taken as they effect the heart rate.

So after all those years of relying on Anxiety medication I now have nothing to support me through Anxiety or Panic attacks.

Having tried to read up on Afib to try to understand what it is - why it happens- and how can I help protect myself the following became obvious - 

Symptoms of Anxiety - Rapid Heart beat and Palpitations

                                 - Cold sweat

                                 - stomach churning

                                 - breathlessness 

                                 - feelings of panic.

Symptons of Afib      - Rapid Heartbeat and palpitations

                                - Sweating

                                - Stomach churning.

                                - Feelings of panic

                                - Breathlessness.

Now - have I always been Afib and not known it, was it hidden under the diagnosis of Anxiety disorder?  

They say Anxiety can  cause rapid heart beat, palpitations and panic disorder, and that you should do everything you can to avoid stress and anxiety - but now I have no meds - what do I do. I put this to my GP and he said ' as best you can' you cant take them any longer as they clash with your beta blocker. So that's it is it Is something that I have had to take medication for, for years to keep it under control, is now no longer a problem - and I'm supposed to suck it up - Anxiety doesn't just go away, Anxiety can kill - it can cause Heart attacks and Strokes - the very thing that Afib can cause - so whats the point in treating one and not the other - there must be something you can take to ease anxiety that wont clash with Beta Blockers and the like - come on you Scientists and Medics this is a real problem - I can't be the only one out here fighting this battle

Is anyone out there suffering the same - have you found an answer, if you have please share x

Barbara x 

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  • Posted

    I was just looking up the side effects to Bisoprolol, that can also cause heart failure as well . Like I said all drugs have side effects some worse than others . 
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  • Posted

    Apparently Citalopram is the safest anti-anxiety drug to take with Warfarin. I have had AF for over twenty years and, after trying several ineffective medical regimens, have gone drugless except for the Warfarin to help with the stroke risk. Everyone is different, but after years of worrying myself sick about the AF, it didn't kill me so I have become slightly sanguine about it. If your AF, like mine, is uncontrolled by medication, maybe you should ask your doctor about quitting the rate control meds, continuing the Warfarin to ward off stroke, and having access to the Citalopram for your anxiety. 

    Upon my first diagnosis with AF many years ago I freaked out and began thinking about getting my affairs in order. Then I didn't die. You probably won't die either, so if you can manage it, reject this foul disease's hold on you, don't give it free rent in your mind and flip it off by living joyfully. It's the best revenge.

    Easier said than done, I know. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    I believe in natural remedies as much as possible. I take a supplement called Nervine by Provita. And Calms Forte. The latter def helps to calm anxiety. I too believe meditation would help. Breathing slowly in the face of an anxiety episode can be challenging but it does help. Yoga. Self talk. If you are on face book there are aupport groups. GP's do not know everything. The pharmacist is a great source of knowledge. What works combined with what is their job. I go tk my pharmacist when I wonder. By the way I developed anxiety post hip replacement. Probably always had it. I then was diagnosed with a heart flutter. Had an ablation last Monday and am taking the Calms and Nervine. It helps. Good luck

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  • Posted

    And one more thing. Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother) goes a long way to help with GERD. Morning and night. Fiest thing and then after dinner. Tsp in warm water.
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  • Posted

    Hi Barbara.  I was diagnosed with Atrial flutter and was put on Multaq and metropolol.  I have been suffering w anxiety for many years and have tried multiple medications to help w it.  I was put on Lexapro by a physchiatrist ( asked her about drug interactions, and was told there was no need to worry). Within a month, I felt great!  I was so thankful that my anxiety was finally better.  Fast forward 5 months when I decided to stop using mail order for the Multaq, and went to have it filled at Walgreens when I was picking up my Lexapro.   Much to my surprise, the pharmacist basically told me I was lucky the 2 meds together didn’t kill me!  At that point, my cardiologist recommended buspirone for the anxiety, as it didn’t interact w the heart meds.  I had to stop the Lexapro. This really upset me. I feel like there was no comparison between the two drugs.  I also only take a very low dose of it.  Fast forward to now... two months ago we list our medical insurance so I could no longer afford the Multaq $600 per month without insurance.  My new cardiologist took me off the Multaq , but increased the metropolol.  My Palps have been so much better.  I’m starting g to wonder if the Multaq caused increased Palps?  I think you should ask your cardiologist/ pharmacist if there is an anxiety medication that won’t interact, or if you can change your heart meds.  Good Luck!  Keep me posted 
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  • Posted

    Oh dear Barbara...I'm in the same boat...Please see another doctor who can think outside the box...I stopped the beta blockers and am on simple aspirin...when I begin to get anxiety symptoms which can go from tachycardia to pvcs then to a fib...I take a .5 lorazepam under my tongue and wait for the first symptoms of tachycardia to abate..if it doesn't within 20/30 mins...i take another. .the secret is catching the symptoms early...it's harder to convert once it's full blown afib...do you get regular bouts of afib or is it a sporadic thing? If you are not constantly going in and.out of it...you shouldn't be on these meds that have such deleterious side effects...I'm lucky in a way...having researched and found world class docs in Eastern Pa. And my "problem "which I have been plagued with for many years of a constant pulse sound in my ear which mirrors my pulse and heartbeat...been thru all sorts of diagnostics and no pathology...no aneurysm...just a swollen ear canal that gets the pulse transfer from my artery..boy did that pulsing cause classic anxiety attacks!...whereas some people can't really feel or tell what the ectopic heartbeats feel like or self diagnose their afib...I can...I feel and hear every beat whooshing in my left ear! Tough to get to sleep without white noise but my doctors all are astonished by my ability to spot my condition approaching...I am not on ativan regularly but I do take it as needed as described above...as far as the other...especially gastric symptoms go...I take Pepcid complete...the otc is ,10 mg. The clinical dose is 40... you can take up to ,4... they do not conflict with any known meds as the simethicone products (gasx) also do not...they will stop the churning and , bloated feelings that are part of the vicious circle of.anxiety/afib...I carry these products with me at all times... if you aren't constantly going in and out of afib on a regular basis...I would consult another doctor and run the protocols which I use by them... it took about 5 years to get me straightened out but I have only had 2 attacks in the past year and they woke me up at night...couldn't exactly.see those coming! Another thing is to keep your electrolyte levels up ...magnesium and potassium are essential...I use vitamin supplements and a product called propel water...like Gatorade but without the sugar...they also have the tubes of dry powder to add to your.water at the supermarket...great for late night leg cramps if you triple the tubes in a bottle of spring water...I hope I have been of assistance to you...the last time I responded on this site...the poor sufferer didn't even want to "go on " anymore..don't know where you live...but there must be a practice that does think outside the box...look around if your current ones.won't consider trying new options.my protocols work for me and may work for you too but don't try anything without consulting your physician first...thanks,Fran

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      P.S. Barbara...I had to get off the beta and cal.channel blockers...and the Cardizem...I'm asthmatic and ALL of these meds caused me severe breathing problems I had to...out of absolute necessity...get off them...I read about the person who has hiatal hernia issues...got that too...my hernia prolapses onto my esophagus and causes the churning and " heart attack" type pain...it really sucks when we have so many seemingly unrelated symptoms..but a really good cardiologist in conjunction with a gastroenterologist can work together with an internist to help resolve the issue..feel free to respond ...I will keep a close eye on the site. Thanks, Fran

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      P.P.S. after reading some of the other responses..I can add a few more points...wow all you guys really have got me going..I was almost forced into ablation 5 years ago...but after researching and finding out how infrequently they do solve the problem and how stressful the procedure is along with the despondency of the failure...It made the decision easy to say NO. My other health issue which precluded my taking strong anti coagulants was small intestinal bleeding from abnormal venous malformations and hemangiomas which.reduced my hemoglobin to dangerous levels and increased my heartbeat to a new normal of 90...poor oxygenation of my vital organs and extreme physical weakness...I was beyond consolation and believed I was facing imminent death..but the right doctors got me together and I'm looking forward to competing at events on my horses next month...you can do it......I'm 66 years old...thanks for listening..Fran

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  • Posted

    Hi Barbara, sorry to hear you are suffering so much.  I also think you can take both sorts of meds.  I'm on metoprolol, Pradaxa, atorvastatin, omeprazole and due to my panic attacks I'm now on Citalopram, and have been for about 8 months, so I think you should ask your GP to change your betablocker so you can take Citalopram or something else as there are loads of different sorts.  Your GP needs to help you more. I wish you all the best.  Stay strong and take care, deep breaths too. xx 

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  • Posted

    Barbara,

    Sorry you are going through this. Me too, I’m going through hell. My life is so messed up.

    I had my first panic attack in last July.  Since then started to worry about my heart, but cardiologist appointment is two months later. In those two months my anxiety level kept going up, and one night I woke up in afib. I have no doubt that the prolonged and constant anxiety caused my afib but cardiologist and EP didn’t agree.

    Now I’m stuck with afib for life. And my anxiety is from afib, afib can’t be cured, so my anxiety won’t go away. Please help us.

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