Should I go on medication for Paroxyismal Artrial Fibrillation as I have only been diagnosed, to date, by ECG?

I have had 2 episodes of AFIB, both at night when in bed. The first one lasted for 7 hours, went to doctors surgery, had ECG which was normal. The second episode was about 6 weeks later again in bed in the night. This one lasted for 11 hours and I was able to get to my doctors surgery in time to catch it on an ECG trace which confirmed Paroxyismal Artrial Fibrillation. I have recently seen a consultant who wants me to take 100mg of Flecainide and 90mg of Diltiazen SR. He has prescribed this medication having only viewed my ECG Trace and without doing any other tests, although he is intending to do an Echocardiogram and treadmill test in about a month.

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  • Hi and welcome to our forum.

    When I was first diagnosed with paroxysmal AF, after having one episode and a visit to A+E, I refused to take tablets every day and the 'pill in the pocket' method was suggested. That is I only took tablets when I had an episode of PAF which was quite rarely to begin with. That was my personal choice being new to AF and astounded that they were suggesting I take beta blockers every day after one attack - I thought perhaps I would never have another. I'm not suggesting you do the same, just making you aware.

    Jean

  • Thanks for your comments, really helps to share your experience.

    From the little I know of AF, My main concern is the statistics on the increased risk of stroke!

    How have thing progressed for you now?

  • AF is ALWAYS progressive so I think your consultant is trying to control it with drugs rather than let it run wild. ECG is the ONLY way to diagnose AF as it is such an obvious trace if you know what you are looking at. All other tests will be to check if you have any other cardiac problems.. Make sure you stroke risk has been properly calculated using the new score system and make a wise choice on anticoagulation if appropriate.

    Bob

  • My understanding is that one should rule out any underlying heart problems before taking flecanide so it's worth asking if you are to have any tests before starting it. I had to have a heart scan before being prescribed it to take as pill in the pocket recently.

  • Yes, according to the ESC guidelines Flecainide is dangerous to anyone with ischaemia, so this needs to be ruled out and monitored.

  • I'm only taking Flecanide because my heart is structurally normal on echo and pumps well.

  • I am the great non-compliant when I had afib 10 years ago and never went back for more tests I threw the pills out along with the baby and the bathwater and today I regret that action because it came back round to bite me in the ass recently caused by a virus

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