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I am female, aged 69. I have had AF for 8.5years but it was only properly diagnosed in June this year. Previously I had attended hospital many times with palpitations but by the time I was seen, my heart was back in sinus. In March this year a looped recording device was implanted and it picked up that I had brady and tachy cardia and a pacemaker was inserted in August. I was prescribed Bisoprolol 2.5mg x 1 daily and also Apixaban 5mg x 2 daily. Obviously the pacemaker will not stop AF and I had an episode earlier this week. I was advised to take an extra Bisoprolol tablet but it didn't make much difference. I would appreciate advice from other sufferers as to how to manage AF episodes without having to go to hospital every time. My next appointment with cardiology dept is next September to check the pacemaker. Any help would be much appreciated.

9 Replies

  • I use flecainide as a pill-in-the-pocket. A 100 strength tablet does the trick. It has to be prescribed by a Cardiologist or EP as it is an anti arrhythmia drug. I am also on 2.5 bisoprolol daily. This cuts my heart rate from about 80 to 65.

    If I were you I would ask your GP to contact Cardiology to OK a prescription for flecainide . It does not suit everyone but it's worth a try.

    Good luck.

  • Thank you for your advice. I will certainly give my GP a call and do what you suggest.

  • Since you now have a pacemaker there should be no reason to go to A and E as the PM will keep your ventricle beating in time and should keep blood flow normal. Yes you will still feel the bag of worms but it will not affect your well being. It may well be unpleasant but you won't get any thanks from A and E as it does not any longer pose a threat to you. It may be that an AV node ablation could reduce the affects but then you will be PM dependent.


  • Thank you for your advice. I appreciate it. An ablation was mentioned but I don't have an appointment until September next year for a PM check. I just wanted to know how to self .manage AF episodes without going to A&E.

  • I'm not a medic of any kind, but before my third sucsessful ablation I was told by doctors to try some home methods to reduce the box of frogs sensations which included:

    Coughing, taking a breathe in and holding my nose closing my mouth and blowing out while doing so... Yes strange I know... Straining (as if one were on the toilet) and finally cold water (I would splash my face or submerge my arms in cold water).... I was told these can change vagal responces and help with symptoms.

    Not sure any of them were a cure but did however make a slight difference.

    These days now I'm recovered, I practice mindfulness a very powerful tool to have in your box as it can help bring down emotional responces to physical sencations and help that spiralling feeling.

    Kindest Regards. 😊

  • Thank you for your home methods of coping with AF. I will certainly try them when next AF occurs. The darn trouble with AF one never knows when it will happen. I appreciate your response.

  • Yes I agree they come when you least expect it right out of nowhere! the good thing about these methods (apart from the water one) is you can do them where ever you are and just need the willingness to see if any help with your symptoms!

    Good luck 😊

  • Bisoprolol does nothing for me except make me feel old and slooooow. I'm on rhythm control drugs which keep my arrhythmia under control.


  • I have only been on bisoprolol for 9 weeks following a pacemaker. I don't feel any different than before. No side effects that I am aware of. Thank you for your response.

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