Alcohol and Flecainide

Ok, I know. Someone on heart meds shouldn't be asking this question. I know.

But I want to know the answer.

I enjoy a drink or two and am generally a responsible drinker. If my cardiologist knew how much I drank I don't think he would have an issue.

Every once in a while things get a bit out of hand. its not good I know, but it happens... but not often (honest). Since being on flecainide I have got pretty tanked twice and on those occasions I behaved in a way that is totally unlike me even when drunk.

My wife reckons its the flecainide because my behaviour was so strange (she woke up in the middle of the night to me doing press ups and squats and looking for beer after I had been asleep for a few hours).

Did I just go into some zombie mode or did the flec have something to do with it?

A btw, i have no intention of trying to test her hypothesis as an excuse to drink!

16 Replies

  • It sounds to me like you know the answer to your question, Jonathan. The evidence is very dependent on who you talk to, what you read, your metabolism, symptoms, diagnosis, etc etc. One cardiologist told me to give up alcohol, another said a glass of wine did no harm - I take 200mg of Flecainide.

    Side effects and warnings about Flecainide mostly state that alcohol may increase the effects of the drug. Also alcohol is a known trigger for AF, especially binge drinking.

    Only you can make the decision based on what you feel - I decided to stop completely immediately on diagnosis because I know myself and that reducing to one glass of wine would never work for me. :)

  • I am on FLEC 200mg . Since onset of PAF many years ago , I have simply avoided alcohol . At first I didn't but it became increasingly evident that alcohol exacerbated both onset and severity of episode. I would try to stop if I were you .

  • This is really something only you can sort out but as a general rule if you have AF then you shouldn't drink--- end of as they say. Long hard look ?

  • Bob, think in the end its the only decision you can come to otherwise it just adds a load of pressure to the situation - there is no doubt that for some it is a trigger and all known triggers should be avoided if possible - and this is a no brainer.

  • I was told that alcohol is a trigger for some people but that it also encourages AF - probably because of changing composition of cells? Even in those with persistent AF alcohol can make the AF worse.

  • Jonathan. I used to like having a drink but always less per week than government guidelines and never binging. Initially cut it down to 1 bottle of wine per week but after having a cardioversion and going back into AF within 24 hours I gave it up completely. I felt what's the point of helping the AF by drinking even a small amount.

  • I am on 200mg flec, I have not been advised to give up alcohol and have not. i donot drink that much, certainly less than I used to pre AF, but over a long evening can consume 4 or glasses of wine or maybe even a little more.

    I am not debilitated by AF, my heart rate goes up, its normally low, and I experience the fluttery felling which is uncomfortable but thats it.

    I thinks its all a balance, you cant let AF get on top of you mentally. if it does the psychological consequences can be far worse then the physical

  • I appreciate the concern expressed, Thank you.

    But I think there is a misunderstanding of how much I drink.

    I will leave it at that. But thanks all.

  • I think your wife may be right about the flec. It is a powerful drug and i suspect it makes the effects of alcohol more exagerated. It makes me think im seeing things in my peripheral vision ,among other side effects , and thats without any drink! However it is amazing at stopping A.F. and for me that is great.

    I stopped drinking alcohol but only because i knew i couldnt stop at one and if people are celebrating with Champaign ,like at new year, i will join them in a glass. Im not fanatical about it.

    I would like to say that it doesnt bother me but the truth is that there are times when i would kill for a glass of red! But i know that 1 glass would be 1 bottle before very long. If only i didnt have such an addictive personality.....

  • I am with you on that I could kill for a glass of red wine but it isnt worth it.

  • I couldn't help laugh at your post Jonathan. I'm just impressed you could do press ups and squats in the middle of the night! 😊 I'm on 2 x 50mg of flec a day. I've not experienced anything like that after alcohol. I have cut down myself and am wary of the flutters etc. that it causes. I know it would be better to stop but for now I'm looking at moderation and trying to live life and enjoy it the best I can!

  • I am trying this moderation thing too, but this past festive season was unusually festive!

    I very seldom drink enough to get to the state where I do press ups in the middle of the night!

  • Haha yes we still have to keep living life don't we!!

  • I'm on 200mg flec daily and like you Jonathan enjoy a few Now and then although I know Im going to suffer for it next day. I'm always fine at the time but know that without fail I'm in for a few hours of cardiac acrobatics as part of the day after recovery process! No one has ever mentioned any change in personality or behaviour ( other than the obvious alcohol related ones ) and I've never felt any different from before I was on flec although I would love to know what you were drinking, I could sure do with that kind of energy!!!

  • I brew beer and my last batch came out pretty strong AND tasty....!

    i am also on 200mg flec, but i don't notice any difference from the flec the day after a bit of drinking.

  • Can't beat a good bit of home brew. I've made my own a couple of times and it's miles better than anything you get in the pub. Happy days!

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