AF Association

Episode 5

What a week. Last Tuesday I went to the Cardiac unit for a 24hr Holter Monitor. Guess what? My heart behaved impeccably.

On Saturday........ Back in AF, only this time was to be the worst yet! It's my 5th episode in about 10 - 12 weeks.

I woke up with it, took my additional 2.5mg Bisoprolol which usually worked after 45 mins, only this time it didn't. My heart went from 237 - 31 within one minute, but generally stayed between 150 & 200 bpm. 5 hrs later, (was planning a trip to see my parents), I took myself off to hospital and had the ECG confirming AF within 5 minutes.

To cut a long story short, I was transferred to Glenfield, (a leading Cardiac Hospital in the UK), to have a chemical cardioversion. This was attempted in the early hours of Sunday with amiodarone. It failed.

I was finally electrically cardioverted late Sunday morning with one shock of 200J. I'd been in AF for 25 hours. Following the cardioversion I was bradycardic for several hours, I guess as a result of the chemical cardioversion attempt, and then things settled down.

2 days later my resting HR is between 55 & 60. So far so good. My meds have now been upped to 5mg, (Bisoprolol & Ramipril), and I've been advised that it's time to consider an anticoagulant.

Which one would people recommend? I'm 47

Also, before the chemical cardioversion attempt I had an Echocardiogram when I was told my heart wall had thickened BUT the doctor did say that this could be reversed if i could get my blood pressure controlled better. What are others people's experience of this?

I'm seeing my doctor in the next few days to discuss. Your thoughts/suggestions are very welcome.



18 Replies

I take Rivaroxaban, I was started on Dagibatran but than made my gums bleed. This one I have been taking for a year with no side effects.

I was also treated with an amioderone chemical cardioversion in Lincoln, the first bag failed, I went back into NSR half way through the 2nd bag. I had bruises on both arms due to the drips and the drugs. Horrible.


I can relate to that. When they flushed the veins after it was agony. Interesting though that it worked for you on the 2nd bag. Thanks for your comments. N :-)


After which I was put onto sotalol for a year. Initially it worked well, about one 12 hour episode per month. However, after about 8-10 months it gradually less and less effective which forced a change onto Rythmodan and a referal for an ablation.

Glenfield is in Leicester?

In answer to your original question again Rivaroxaban is the best option FOR ME, what works for me might not work for you. A lot of people choose warfarin because it has an antidote BUT you need weekly testing.

And, I think everyone here will agree you NEED anticoagulants of some kind. My advice get that sorted ASAP. If the first choice doesnt work, you can always change to another.


Glenfield, Leicester, yes. Thanks for your thoughts re the anticoagulant too :-)


Rivaroxaban for me too- with no problems. Sure hope you get Some rest soon! keep posting! take good care


Have they tried you with rhythm control drugs? They're the only thing that work on me. Even then we've had to try numerous types to get the right one for me.

I'm on Warfarin and my EP says he wants me to stay on it because my occupation means I am at high risk of an accident, and it has an antidote which will work within 20 minutes.



I started rivaroxaban, prescribed by my EP, a month ago and so far no side effects. It's the first anti coagulant I've taken. I hope all goes well for you.


I'm on warfarin but it's the drug of choice in Wales, bits have to fall off you to get one of the newer drugs. I have to say I'd move onto something like rivaroxaban, given the choice. No worries about diet, for a start.


I am on warfarin which I like as I can self test and feel in control. It probably took me around a year to feel comfortable and confident about it all but I would much rather have this mild inconvenience than have a stroke.

I would also have no objection to the new anticoagulant s if for some reason I had to stop warfarin.

Good luck.x


Hi Nige

I'm no medical expert, just been finding my own way with my own AF and Bradycardia and can see some similarities between your experience and mine. Just reading these and your other posts, you seem to have very fast AF/irregular episodes (even though sometimes very short in duration) but when converting back to NSR crash back with really low heart rates. I experience this and called Brady/Tacky syndrome. However I also have constant Bradycardia with a heart rate in the 40s (not the 55/60 you have) that stops me using beta blockers but am on an anti arrhythmic drug instead. I reported my slow heart rate a couple of years ago to my GP (about 50/55 then) but was assured nothing was wrong. Don't know if you now have an EP (a heart rhythm specialist) but worth exploring this with them. My reading led me to believe that if my AF was curbed (ie symptoms removed though AF never cured I'm told) then it might stop the Bradycardia. I only say this because considering an ablation to curb AF symptoms now (as you are 'quite young' as my EP said to me) might save you going down the same route as me facing a pacemaker and drugs for life. If you only have a cardiologist then you do also need an EP for the AF.

All the best in achieving and maintaining good health.


PS I was at Glenfield for my ablation a few weeks ago, not many people seem to be.


Thanks for this Happyjo. I've got an appointment with my Cardio in December and have been told that he will refer me to an EP. I will also check this with my doc as I think you're right. I definitely need an EP.

I'm trying really hard to reduce the stress in my life. The way my AF is going I really can't afford to drop out of sinus again so I'm doing a lot of self monitoring at the moment.

Fingers and everything else crossed, eh?

Thanks again




I was diagnosed with left bundle branch 4 years ago. Was told not to worry about it. !!!!!! Within a few months after multiple visits to A & E I was rushed into Cardiac Care with a very low heart rate. It went as low 25 BPM and didn't go any higher than 45 BPM. I was taken to Papworth for a pacemaker. I have been on Warfarin for a year. The Pacemaker has not stopped the AF but without it I would not be here. Oh I forgot to say I was 52 when I had it fitted. Please don't worry about having a pacemaker. I hardly know it is there now. They are improving them all the time. They are going to give me an upgrade when I need mine replacing. Lol


think most things have been said- the important first matter is anti-coagulation- sort that out ASAP and then see what long term options are


I'm on it, thanks, RosyG x


Hi, Im on rivaroxoban no problems, but you may have to see

what your options are, You definately need to see an EP if you have not

done so already. Good luck.


Thanks Shirley x


I am on rivaroxaban two years now ( after a warfarin related brain bleed) and like the fact that it is a "once a day" drug. The fact that there are no dietary restrictions is great as well. Here in the US it is very expensive and you usually have to have some medical justification before insurance will cover ( the stroke in my case).


Hi - I have just been switched to ApixBan which I personally prefer to Warfarin. However it is important you are on some sort of anticoagulant. I am on the waiting list for cardioversion - glad all seems well for you. Patricia.


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