Seen the cardiologist today,I'm now on the waiting list for an Ablation in the next few months,but in the meantime the cardio has taken me off Flecanide,he said it ain't working ( I always thought that was the case anyway) and Has suggested Digoxin to work alongside the bisprpol (7.5) I'm taking at the moment..so Sotalol didn't work either,in fact that was a nightmare,Flecanide is also on the compost heap,tho' that didn't give me any problems,my heart just more or less ignored it the cardio reckons I'm more or less of n permanent AF,as my resting pulse is 116 and irregular,but you read quite a few kinda "nasty"stories on the forum regarding Digoxin..Any you guys out there have any positive results with Digoxin?...Actually I'm in two minds whether to start taking it,I'd be happy just to tog along until I get word of my ablation...BUT do you go against the advice of the Cardiologist..sometimes you get the feeling it is a bit of "mix n' match" to find the right combination,..or do I try it and see what happens?...I just do not want to end up how I felt on Sotalol,with a time share in the local A&E.

Thanks Guys....Terry.

46 Replies

  • After failing to control with nadalol having no effect and sotalol and flecanide resulting in subjective pro-arrhythmia not to mention feeling awful most of the time I was placed on rhythm control metoprolol 47mg diltiazem 180mg and digoxin 250ug daily. I was on these for about six months until I had a successful ablation. I felt almost normal and was still able to work even when I had an AF attack although I had to slow down abit . Rate control for me was 100 times better than rhythm control and I never had to go to hospital once which is more than I can say for rhythm control. My cardiologist told me that they only expect each drug to work on about 50% of the patients. I think they do their best but it certainly pays to get yourself clued up on what they are doing. Good luck with your ablation, mine 18 months on is still working perfectly.

  • Thanks Kakapo, obviously that is the angle my cardio is taking Rate control..hope my ablation is as successful as yours..Terry.

  • I was on Digoxin to reduce heart rate while I waited for cardioversion. They couldn't give me enough Bisoprolol to reduce my heart rate enough without reducing blood pressure so much that I felt faint, dizzy and sick and couldn't drive. I had no problem with Digoxin but it wasn't long term. I'd take it again if I needed too. Heather

  • Thanks Heather....just started on digoxin today...fingers and toes crossed Terry.

  • Ive been in dioxin and bisoprolol for 4 years. I'm in prrmanent AF ut I work full time and exercise etc. Perhaps have to have a bit more sleep than others but no other effects. I'm 45

  • Thanks Smn...getting plenty rest with AF seems quite a pre- requisite...but not always possible unfortunately..Good Luck Terry.

  • I was on dig for most of my childhood and again last year for 9 months whilst in AF awaiting OHS. It absolutely worked for me, it made a marked difference to my AF symptoms almost immediately.

  • Thanks Janarazzi....you read that many negatives about Digoxin...great to get good reviews helps to put the mind at rest...Best Wishes..Terry.

  • Hi! I was put on 10mg Bisoprolol, 125 mcg Digoxin in June this year (also on Warfarin) and once I'd experimented with best time of day to take meds, I've settled on teatime. OK I nod off watching TV in the evening but I'm also 'of that age who do'. And if I walk too fast, over exert myself, I do get a bit breathless but soon recover. My Afib is permanent but fingers crossed is being managed for now on meds. Not been offered ablation and that's fine as long as I stay like this. Good luck with yours when it comes up.

  • Thanks Hastyheart...I like to split my Medes uptime wise morn..lunch..aft,...dare say everybody has their own system?..thanks for your good wishes...all the best to you too..

  • You require a seven day load up with Digoxin. My first level did not work, HR still in excess of 100. This after a CV.......This was at 125mcg, per day. That has been increased to 250mcg, and the HR is better, but not great. 85 average. I reduced the Bisoprolol from 15mg, to 12.5mg. My BP was too low. The recommended daily intake of Digoxin is 250mcg, and of Bisoprolol, 10mg.The EP is going for RATE control, not rhythm. The cardio states - make you feel better. I am not a candidate for Ablation at the moment, strategy being they do not think it will work. It has been left to me, if I feel my life quality does not improve, to ask for an ablation, they will then put me on the list. I am going to run with the medication combo I am on until April. My GP is carrying out monthly blood toxicity tests, in relation to the Digoxin. I have pretty spooky events at the moment, but currently I am unable to figure out what may be causing ti.

  • thanks Max Red...I'm hoping the rate control does the trick too...best wishes on your AF journey...it really is a complex condition...it effects everybody differently...Cheers Terry.

  • Hi Ive been on sotolol for about 6 months and feel like i can hardly breathe, wondered if it maybe the sotalol or my AF??? How did u feel when you wAs taking sotalol?? Tight chest a very breathless like how im feeling at mo??

  • What you are describing fits into the 'tell your doctor straight away if you are experiencing any of these symptoms' whilst taking sotalol. Ask politely for them to try you on an alternative drug.

  • I was on sotalol fir about two years, with no breathing problems. However after I had a Pulmonary vein isolation in August , the sotalol really upset my breathing plus made me feel faint. So I am now on Diltiazem and breathing fine. Ask for a review of your meds.

  • Hi Steve...I felt bloody dreadful on Soltalol...that was my first med i was prescribed after diagnosis...I was in AE three times in as many weeks..it made my arrhythmia worse..severe sweating,chest pain,and latterly project tile vomiting..i def thought I was for the off ski..heart rate 160+...changed it to bisprpol and Flecanide...now. Bisprpol and digoxin..obviously rythmn control meds do not work for me...but everyone is different..it's not like a broken arm where we all wear a stookey...best wishes to you..Terry.

  • I am also in permanent AF. I have been on Digoxin with bispropal for three years. No problem for me. I have recently posted a question about Digoxin because I also was aware of some bad press. I had about six replies. Five were positive.


  • Thanks Frisbee...hope my meds last three years without probs. all the best..

  • Been on a low dose of digoxin without any problems for 2/3 years. I'm in AF 24/7.

    Good luck with your ablation.

  • Cheers Marion ( love that name,my wee mammy was Marion)..actually looking forward very much to my ablation...need to try and kick this AF into touch...thanks X

  • Digoxin plus bisoprolol has allowed me to live a fairly normal life . I never thought I'd feel so good again. Going uphill makes me out of breath but I've found not to talk and walk at the same time and rest when needed is ok. I was fitted with a pacemaker last November. Always drink enough water to flush kidneys. Don't know if this has any effect though. Be well Terjo

  • Cbheers Terjo...I would def.settlefor that big time " normal life" hope my bisprpol and digoxin do the same...and the same as you plenty fluids daily..cheers Terry.

  • I like digoxin and I was really reluctant to start it . I was prescribed it in A anE after a particularly bad bout of paroximal AF ,to go with my 10mg of bisoprolol . I felt it changed my AF life just made the symptoms more manageable whilst waiting for ablation . My EP advised me to stop it as he said it was ineffective in people my age( I'm 46) and only useful for less active elderly people so stopped it and felt worse! I saw my cardiologist ( having a stent I have a Plummer as well as an electrician!) and he said to restart it if it made me feel better as I was the only one who could judge how I felt and sometimes certain drugs just suit people and they don't know why! So I restarted it and felt better again although it doesn't stop AF I felt it made my episodes less intense . Post ablation I stopped it and started flecainide which I found horrendous so that had to be stopped and am waiting for an outpatients appt in dec . I would go on digoxin again as I tolerated it well and don't like the idea of sotalol. Hope this helps x

  • What didn't you like about flecainide ? I've been on it post ablation for a month now following HR of 135 plus upped my bisoprolol to 7.5 from 5 and I feel dreadful . Trying to work out which one is making me feel 100.


  • I had a reaction to it after the 4th tablet , a sudden head rush of it then I had trembling, a burning sensation ,feeling faint and severe agitation and (mild)hallucinations , basically a few of the side effects listed under 'rare' on the leaflet. It was like a bad trip! My husband spoke to a doctor at the hospital I had the ablation at and he thought it was a toxic reaction to the flecainide ,it lasted 6 hrs but my heart was steady all this time . When my bisoprolol was upped to 10mg I couldn't tolerate it -lethargy ,nausea, muscle weakness, Breathlessness ,felt washed out generally .the hospital suggested taking 5 mg morning and evening which made me feel much better still tired but more energy . When not in AF I take 5mg daily and when have AF I take an extra 2.5-5mg in the evening which I ok'd with my cardiologist . A doctor told me that when you increase meds like bisoprolol it takes them a month or so to be titrated and then those symptoms should settle ,hope this helps x

  • Thanks . I think it might be the bisoprolol then . No energy , tired, breathless , can't climb stairs without feeling faint lightheaded , slight nausea , hot and cold flushes , nose drips all the time , wind and constipation ! Apart from that , life is great ! Seeing my GP this week as I feel worse than before I had the ablation !

  • Do you have a cuff BP Monitor to check BP?

  • No, only my alivecor and a keep fit heart rate monitor . Every day for a month they tell me I'm around 110, I was originally 135 when they put me on flecainide and upped the bisoprolol to bring the rate down

  • Think about getting the Microlife BPWatch A (for AFib) and then take morning and evening and also after say going up the stairs. Both my GP and EP use my BP readings as well as AliveCor readings to adjust the tablets. Had more blood tests this week and then they are going to adjust doses next week

  • Thanks for that

  • They were about £75 and I got it VAT free by looking at various websites.

  • I'll have a check around , or put it on my Christmas list !

  • Make it an early Christmas present then!!!!

  • Hi Basia 12...I upped my bisprpol on occasions when I felt ropey...it helped...Flecanide? I was on 2x100 mg daily plus the bisprpol...didn't do nothing for me to be honest..unlike soltalol which was horrendous...obviously Rythmncontrol meds ain't for me...hope like you the digoxin makes my life manageable...good luck in Dec....Terry.

  • Just an aside. My understanding is that persistent AF means that when you have it you are in it all the time but you can be put back into SR with such procedures as cardioversion or ablation. But with permanent AF you can never achieve SR. I think that it is an important distinction.

  • Correct

  • Hi barb When I was discussing the ablation with my cardio he never mentioned the diff.between the symptoms...what he did say was the success rate was roughly 60%...and I would be advised about possible complications involved in the procedure...and it was my decision...but in his opinion ablation was the best option in my case....so all I can hope for is that I'm part of the 60%....best wishes Terry.

  • I've been on digoxin since 2000, no problems. I've been on Sotalol since 2000 also. I started with Betapace AF 120mg 2x/day, but when the generic came out they switched me to Sotalol. I have a pacemaker which shows that I am in constant A-Fib. I am pacing constantly. I take upwards of 14 meds/day, and some 2x's/day. People ask how are you doing, I say "I awoke this morning and I'm here". At my age, 82, and with all the medical issues I'm dealing with I'm doing okay. My father had some of the problems I have and he was with us until his 90th birthday. I'm going for the record.

    P.S. my resting pulse is 70 bpm.

  • hello mpaul...totally agree pal...my old man used to reply when asked how are. You ? He'd say"I'm above ground". My best wishes to you...keep on trucking! Terry..

  • Thanks. I needed that.

  • Been to doctors about my breathing as had enougth now, his writing a letter to the hospital to see if they will change my sotolol to something else? When i last spoke to hospital after my ablation last week i said about my breathing and they said oh poor thing put up with it, you got AF! Hopefully now my doctors on there case he might g em up a bit and change my meds, i was on bisoprolol before and felt strange twisting pains in chest on that one, i cant win lol. Next follow up appointment after my ablation is begining of febuary, think i need to see em before then

  • Steve...your best idea if your difficult breathing persists...go directly to AE...with me my breathing got difficult,with a sharp pain. In my lungs when I breathed in...seemingly the small veins surrounding the lungs were not getting enough blood.due to the irregular heartbeat...caused by my reaction to Sotalol...it just seemed to sort of" provoke "my arrhythmia..but everybody is different...but it could be,soltalol ain't for you best wishes ..

  • Hi Steve. I also have a breathing problem. There was an ongoing debate between my cardiologist and my pulmonologist as to what was causing my breathing problem. It turns out that I was a very heavy smoker, up to 4 packs/day. It was determined that I have COPD and emphyzema. I'm now on 2 inhalers and 1 emergency inhaler with oxygen at night.

  • That is a very good reason to err on the side of caution and call 999 if feeling bad.

  • Hi all, they still havent taken me off sotalol, they are now saying they are going to cardiovert me on thursday the 16th next week at 8am to help with my breathing and try and get me in nsr,only had my ablation on 10th, i worry my poor heart going to be all ok, strange why they havent taken me off sotalol???

  • I have been taking Digoxin for years since I was first diagnosed. I have never had any problems with it except when i went into hospital with bronchitis two years ago and the hospital insist on messing with your medication. I went to my own GP when i came out and he did a review and we decided to bring my dose down and i have never had any problems since. i take it every night at 6 pm as prescribed and I take a lot of other medications for other conditions and it has never interfered with any of those either. I think you have to be guided as always by your own doctor who knows you better than anyone. He will know what dose etc you need . I also take Bisoprolol for the AF. Hope you find it does you good as well. I have never had an ablation either or needed one.

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