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AF Association
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How do I slow a rapid heart rate?

I was diagnosed August 2014....but had a "heart racing" episode in 2005 and periodically since then. It become much more intense in August and I was sent to ER and was five days in hospital in August. Heart rate in hospital was 130-135. Put on Metoprolol 250mg which did nothing but make me feel worse. Also began Warfarin. Cardioverted in October and was put on 1.25 Bisoprolol instead of Metoprolol. Reverted one week later and then put on 10 Bisop....my heart rate was around 100 to 110. In November I started Amiodarone even though I asked for something less intense. Heart rate shot up to 135-140 after beginning Amiodarone.....and has fluctuated from a low of 125 to a high of 140 since then. My heart rhythm is fairly regular now and I feel much better.....I then began reducing the Bisop to half (5mg), taking it at night, then down to 2.5, 1.25 and now for the past week eliminating it altogether. My heart rate has stayed at 135-140. I did see an EP and was offered an ablation. In our meeting he said that "the heart rate didn't bother him"....but I "qualified" for an ablation, so he had to offer it. Chance of success he said is 50-50 and the offer is open until June or July when it would be one year since the recent symptoms began.

I'm feeling so much better since being in a regular rhythm, and I'm trying to find ways of dealing with this other than a 50-50 ablation....ie, diet, magnesium, meditation...but the consistent heart rate of 135-140 (now almost six months) is beginning to worry me. Is there a medication out there that can help bring down the rate.....other than beta-blockers which don't seem to work for me?

11 Replies

A rate that high for too long will damage the heart for sure. If I were you I would take the ablation since drugs do not appear to be helping. If the rate is regular it may well be SVT which is an easier fix. You can have more than one ablation as well . I needed three over three years but off all rhythm control drugs for 6 +years now.


Thanks Bob. I'm going to go the route of diet, supplements, meditation...even though it is a struggle (especially the plant based diet)....at least for now. I appreciate your feedback and suggestion.


If you are really serious about this read grandma's posts on here about diet. I would find it very hard to follow but sounds like she has had really good results. Posts as SRMGrandma.


Thanks Iallym....I'm going for the diet and supplements...at least for now. I feel I must give that a try before seeking ablation..(s).


Try magnesium supplements. Take as much as your bowels will allow as it will be trial and error to discover how much is right for you. It needs to be a large dose but too much will give you diarrhea so try starting somewhere around 800mg daily and give or take from there.

Good luck.



Yes, I've been taking 400mg....I'll give it a kick and go for 800. thanks Pat.


You might try magnesium oil as you can absorb a lot of magnesium through the skin without it causing loose bowels. My husband has AF and we are going down a similar route nutrition-wise to see how much can be done before an ablation.

If your heart is going that fast I would also consider ribose as it provides energy quickly for the heart and helps prevent it becoming exhausted.

If you have a look at the websites od Dr Sinatra (no, not the singer....) and Dr Myhill, they give a lot of information, if you haven't found it already.

My husband has been on this since The beginning of January and so far doing well, although time will tell.

I wish you well......a lot can be accomplished nutritionally.


Thanks Davesgirl! I'll look into all that you have suggested. All best to you both.


Hi,if you have intermittent episodes of afib I was told the laser balloon ablation had an 80to90percent cure rate,I had mine done on Thursday and I'm hoping thats it ,I'll know in the next 6 months.If I were you I'd have the ablation you've nothing to lose and its painless. Good luck I hope things work out for you.


Not sure I would qualify as I have persistent....but thanks for the info...I'll log it in for possible future reference.


My cardiologist said to slow a heart rate take a few deep breaths in through the nose out through the mouth and you will be bring your heart rate down. Check your HR after doing it a few times, do not do it fast, but do it with slow breaths or your will hyperventilate. Hope this helps


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