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I have had SVT for about 20 years, and during that time have been hospitalised or in A&E about a dozen times with the usual symptoms. The injection has always worked straight away.
I was on Isoptin for about the first ten years which worked quite well at preventing it. Then I started getting 'breakthroughs' more often and I was put on a higher dose. This brought SVT under control again but I suffered side-effects which I thought were worse than the occasional SVT. My doctor and I agreed that I should try to do without the medication.
This worked surprisingly well for a year or so, with only one episode every week or more, but then it became more common. Eventually I was having several episodes a day. As you all know too well, SVT can last for as little as a few seconds or as long as several hours (needle time!).
My specialist then put me on Cardicor, and my current dose is 5mg. This worked well. And cutting out anything with CAFFEINE improved matters further.
I gave up drinking coca-cola, Lucozade, coffee etc. completely and switched to decaffeinated tea.
Alas, about four months ago I again began having several attacks a day.
I was thinking about doubling my Cardicor dose for a few weeks to see if this would improve things, but before I did I researched more about SVT on the internet (me and doctors don't enjoy each other too much).
CAFFEINE cropped up several times, and I came across a reputable article about caffeine allergy causing SVT. It also highlighted the fact that decaffeinated tea still contains a small amount of caffeine - enough to trigger SVT in someone with an acute allergy.
If I remember correctly, the article said that people that once consumed very large quantities of coffee or tea can eventually become allergic to caffeine. This rang a bell because I used to drink at least ten mugs of coffee a day.
Anyway, I gave up the decaffeinated tea completely about four months ago and now only drink water or herbal 'tea'. I did not change anything else I am aware of.
Touch wood, I have not had a single episode since I stopped drinking decaffeinated tea. I am sure I will get others, but if they are this far apart I will be very happy.
If this also works for just one person who reads this I will be delighted for you. :D
TRY CUTTING OUT ALL CAFFEINE.
READ INGREDIENTS LABELS TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE NOT TAKING IT INADVERTENTLY.
BE AWARE THAT DE-CAFFEINATED TEA AND COFFEE STILL CONTAINS ENOUGH CAFFEINE TO TRIGGER SVT IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO IT.
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Cutting out caffeine really did work well for some time, but I regret to say it did come back later with a vengeance when I was having large doses of IV steroids when getting chemo for an unrelated blood cancer. It got so bad that they wouldn't continue the chemo because they reckoned I would have a heart attack!
Anyway, I then had no choice but to have the procedure shelly mentioned above (the ablation). I'm not sure its the same for everyone, but in my case they gave me a local and a sedative and inserted some tube-like device into some large ?vein near my groin and then onwards and upwards to near my heart. They then used the device to burn away some stuff that had previously confused the electrical signals and triggered SVT.
Sounds a bit gruesome I suppose, but it didn't take long in theatre and didn't hurt then or afterwards. These folk know what they are doing.
That was almost two years ago, and I have not taken tablets for SVT since and I have not had a single episode.
Only afterwards did I realise I had been a virtual prisoner to SVT for about 20 years of my life. Even when I wasn't actually having an episode I was worrying that the next one might be only a minute away!
If my advice is worth anything, don't consider having an ablation, don't weigh the risks, just do it. And then enjoy a normal life.
I really hope it all works out for you.
Hi Kieran .
I was wondering how your getting on after a year without caffeine and has it made any difference to your SVT ? I was diagnosed about 4 years ago but suffered with SVT for years ,I had a bad attack Christmas Day and spent most of the day in A&E ....anyway I have cut out coffee ,soft drinks and anything really with caffeine only drinking green tea and peppermint and so far no SVT ...So I'd be happy to hear any news you have after a year of no caffeine.
Best wishes Denise.
Hi again Denise. I'm very lucky because I can now drink all the coffee I like because the ablation cured my SVT, I still haven't had an SVT episode since and thats almost 5 years ago.Glad to hear that cutting out caffeine seems to have worked for you. Did you consider an ablation?
I'm glad your rid of the horrid SVT and it's working..yes I've asked for an ablation as I'm a keen hill walker and the SVT are making me nervous of been anywhere remote but my doctors dragging his heels and wants me to take more meds I've said no so now I'm waiting for a 24-hour holter monitor ..anyway will see how things go .All the best Denise.
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