Hi I need advice regarding atrial fibrillation and some symptoms I'm experiencing

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Hi there, I had an episode of atrial fibrillation on 30th April 2011.  I woke up to feel my heart pounding.  My wife checked my heart rate and we went straight to hospital because it was racing rapidly.  To get to the point, my heart rate was very high and was given IV flecanide to bring the beat back to a normal rhythm.  

I was then put on Bisoprolol and Aspirin as regular medication.  Unfortunatley, I wasn't put on Omeprazole to counter the effects of the aspirin and had a gastric bleed later that year that was treated.

I have not been referred to a heart specialist ever as was told I didn't need to.  My gp has seen me for every day problems but doesn't monitor my condition.  From what I understand, is it right that I have paroxysymal atrial fibrillation as have not had a severe occurence since the one in April 2011 ?  I do get times when my heart will skip out of beat for a  number of seconds and then goes back to normal.  I also get twinges in my chest at times but wouldn't class it as chest pain.

For the last number of years, I have suffered with extreme fatigue and sleep for at least 10-12 hours a night if I can and can be sometimes up to 14 hours.  I have also had some lightheadedness and dizziness.  I went to see a different GP last week and told her of my fatigue, lightheadedness and dizziness.  She has done blood tests yesterday and I see her again next week.  However, I saw the receptionist at the surgery about something else and she said a doctor had checked the blood tests back as normal.  

Is it possible that even though I'm not in AF at the moment could the AF be causing me to be so tired and lightheaded. I'm not asking for a diagnosis here but just wondered if it was or if the medication could cause it.  My gp doesn't review me at all about my heart and AF and wonder if this should be the case or if I should have seen a specialist.  Thanks for your help.

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  • Posted

    I have been in AF for the last 10 months, and as a result have heart failure. I am on bisoprolol, apixiban and lasix. I have seen 3 different cardiologists since this started so would highly recommend you getting onto a good one. I am constantly fatigued, have palpitations and get short of breath when doing the smallest tast, stairs are a definite no.

    I'm having primary vein isolation on Monday, I am hoping it works, but am also wondering if the damage to my heart will improve once it's back in rhythm, my dr says heart failure can improve so I'm hoping so. As far as your sleeping goes, I think it's great that your able to get some rest. I am on CPAP machine now, although I only have moderate sleep apnoea it is supposed to contribute to AF so my respiratory Dr says it's a definite benefit for me.

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  • Posted

    Hi Michael,

    fatigue, lightheadedness and dizziness are all very common side effects of the dreaded Bisoprolol- are you still on it? Even low doses can do it. If you're on over 2.5mgs a day, I'd say this is definitely the most likely cause of your tiredness.

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    • Posted

      Hi Terence, I'm on 5mg of Bisoprolol daily and wondered if that could be it.  My wife once had adverse side effects from a different beta blocker - atenolol.  I'm going to push for a referral to a cardiologist this week.  Thanks.

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    • Posted

      I'm only on 2.5 pre day and am wiped out but there again are bodies all react differently to doses of drugs .   I've asked to change before but been tol biso is heart specifc but I will ask again in a couple of weeks as the fatigue and weakness is life limiting.      Let us know how you get on.   Be insistent of your needs! 

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  • Posted

    Hi, I have experienced  both Bisoprolol and Atenenol. At low doses I found the fatigue (lead legs!) wore off after a few weeks. At high doses (10mg Bisoprolol), the farigue persisted, especially when also on Flecainide. Unless your GP has specialist heart experience, you do need to request an appointment with a Cardiologist, preferably an "Electro" one. You may be interested that my Electro-Cardiologist defines AF as irregularity lasting more than 30 seconds. Below that he described them as Ectopic! Not sure that this universal. Something else related to extreme fatigue, not often mentioned in these AF discussions is Sleep Apnoea. Sufferers are at high risk of AF! Check it out on this web-site. I trust your situation is resolved ASAP. Regards, malex57.  

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  • Posted

    HI, I was told I had paroxysmal AF earlier this year, I did see a cardio for a follow up and he said most people over 50 have it, I am 58 and some notice it all the time, mine is food related as I also suffer with GERD, where other people do not even notice it.  He said you will not die from it, although when it is bad I do wonder, and to go and get on with life. One trick he did mention and is does help is that when you feel your heart racing and get bad flutters and flips, close your eyes and feel your pulse for a couple of minutes and it help me feel calmer as I can feel it is regular. I am lucky that I take apixiban for a DVT which is one of the treatments so even though I am really scared when I am having a bad attack, I do feel safe knowing that I will not have a stroke, hopefully. 
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  • Posted

    For a full week and since writing above  I have tried reducing my bisoprolol  - just to see if it helped my fatigue.  Reduced from 2.5 to just 1.25 which is far lower than a lot are on.   So far interestingly my BP and pulse are the same and my daily sleeps are reduced  - just 1 hour this morning and 1 hour this afternoon!   Before that was out for count for 2 hours in one go.    However my level of lethargy in between is just as bad.  Makes me wonder if it is the bisoprolol of something else going on.    Luckily can check this out at appointment this week.    All very confusing. 
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  • Posted

    Hi all, for the last week and a half, I have been taking my bisooprolol on an evening like some have suggested.  This has made such a difference and don't have the fatigue that I have that I was experiencing.  I do get tired but this seems normal tiredness.  I saw my gp and she said they may be able to reduce the dose of the Bisoprolol if needed but are leaving at the same dose at the moment.  She didn't see a need to refer me to a cardiologist and I am back at work and feeling so much better for taking the bisoprolol at night.

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