PVC, then racing heart

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I have a quick question to ask regarding palpitations and how they feel for you. A little backstory: I have been weaning off Lexapro for about 4 months now, and was able to completely stop the medication for about 10 days before having to get back on due to withdrawal symptoms (severe dizziness, anxiety, poor concentration). I reinstated 1mg first, and up-dosed to 2.5, then 3, then 4mg where I'm at today. At 2.5mg I began to have cardiac symptoms, which consisted of mainly palpitations and a racing heart. I have had palpitations for years, and have seen a cardiologist which cleared me. We did an echo, numerous ECG, blood work, event monitor, holter monitor and nothing was shown. 

On the drug, I had very few cardiac symptoms (took for about 3 years), but one of the reasons why I got on the drug was to alleviate these symptoms which I had before and now afterward. 

My question though is pertaining to what I'm experiencing now, which is pretty distressing to me. I've had two episodes so far where after I do moderate exercise, even for just 10 minutes, I will sit down experience one PVC or palpitation, then my heart will begin to race and probably peaks at 150-170 bpm. I feel very anxious during this time, breathing fast, dizziness, etc. I return to normal after maybe 1:30-2 minutes. 

So, I'm naturally scared I'm in VTach or something major, but I'm wondering does this sound like I'm just overly hyped when I'm cooling down and getting a surge of adrenaline? I can feel a regular rhythm, but it is pounding and very fast. 

Any insight appreciated.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Sounds distressing.

    While you are seeing your Doc, 

    You might request a Zio  Patch 10 day HR monitor or equivalent.

    I thought the Holter wasn't on long enough to measure anything that a isn't consistent problem and isn't exactly conducive to a regular exercise routine.

    I have had 2 Zio patches and they paint a much broader picture 24hrs a day.

    Do an internet search - they are pretty small and stick with a gel patch.

    Best of luck.

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  • Posted

    This is story of my life really , I read somewhere that this can be due to lack of sugar ... ? I'm not a doctor so I have got no clue really , I am going to see a cardiologist next week myself .Have a look at my ECG of when the episode occurs .

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    • Posted

      Hi Barry,

      Looking at your home ecg, this looks like SVT. You can see the P waves preceding the QRS complex. There is no visible T wave in SVT.

      So rest assured you probably have this condition which is very treatable.

      My episodes I've deduced to probably panic after the PVC. My heart begins to race over a period of seconds. Usually with rhythms like SVT you have an initiating premature beat and the rhythm changes immediately and converts back immediately. Good luck

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  • Posted

    Hi .... you are good at reading ECG's!  I struggle sometimes, but I'm getting there.

    I've only ever felt my heart (palpitations) about twice that I recall.  The other day it was beating forcefully and I only saw that because I was using my monitor.  That was weird.

    I have been to the BNF website and you may wish to read the information.  There is another name to Lexapro (escitalopram), as you will see. 


    I have no idea the reasons for you taking this medication, but it appears they are given to patients with anxiety and it would seem that what you are experiencing are the side effects.  Please do read.

    I have reached the conclusion that with all due respect, these doctors/electrocardio physiologists - whatever - they are all professionals, find it difficult to understand how frightening and worrying it can be.  It is a fact that until you experience something yourself, all you know (and I am not wishing to undermine their intelligence), is what you read and understand.  When I was in heart failure, I once said to my then GP, who was being so flippant about what I was telling him, that I wish he could get heart failure, because he would experience what I was feeling and then he would understand.

    I shall go further and for anyone reading this and that is that when I started nurse training back in 1975, the tutor told us that throughout our career, there are some things that we will never understand because we have not experienced them.  We were to bear that in mind - always.  He told us that towards the end of our 4 week study period, we would have to perform a naso-gastric procedure on each other, so we can feel what it was like.  That never came about and I recall we were all pretty relieved.

    Last but not least - and I'm sorry for going off your issues, but as you say you feel as you do and everything it seems, is dismissed.  We can say 'fine', but they are still there.  So one has to assume, because we are not doctors that that is the case and we do accept that.  But, what I should like to see is the 'ex-medical professionals' standing up at one of these Cardiology conferences or whatever and telling those that are practising today, exactly what they go through/have gone through.  Perhaps then they will know that it's not all in our heads!  I'll shut up and I'm sorry for deviating.

    You did ask my opinion, and all I can say is that I think you should read the literature and take it from there.  It would seem that this drug is giving you some of these symptoms, but I could be wrong.  Do please keep in touch.


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  • Posted

    .I think 150-170bpm is something I would discuss with my Cardiologist. That sounds high to me.


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    • Posted

      Yup, I was concerned too and I talked to him about it and he didn't seem concerned. He told me it was the changes in my medication that was causing it and anxiety. I've been having very high anxiety since I changed my meds...wish I hadn't now.

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