Flecainide and dreams

I have been taking Flecainide for 13 years and I still have lots of dreams. . I seem to dream strange dreams all night. I thought I had sleep apnea but after visiting a Sleep Clinic and having a monitor on me it turns out that I do not. I do snore though. I take my last Flecainide at 10pm. Often just before I fall sleep I seem to stop breathing and wake up very suddenly. Has anyone else experienced this.

17 Replies

  • Dreaming? No, not from Flecainide, but I used to get surreal dreams from Metronidazole, they were quite good fun.

    Apnoea? Yes, but not regularly. I think it's central apnoea rather than obstructive, so I assume that's why there's a link with AF if it's all related to the autonomic nervous system. When I was in hospital in August 2014 there was one night when I kept feeling my breathing about to stop each time I was on the verge of falling asleep. The 'autopilot' wasn't taking over my breathing properly.

    One night last year I woke up suddenly, and I must have been about as close to suffocating as it's possible to get. I was gasping for air with my head spinning, and lips tingling, and had a sort of 'spaced out' feeling to my consciousness that lasted for several hours afterwards.

  • Thanks for that. Your symptoms are definately like mine. I have also woken up with a jerk and was gasping for air. I thought I was going to die once or twice. I have often thought one day my autopilot might not kick in! The Consultant at the Sleep Clinic said that my sleep monitor showed that I had stopped breathing a few times but not enough to call sleep apnea. He also said AF can cause this. I live on my own and often have panic attacks when this happens in the night as there is nothing worse than having this when you are on your own in the night. Things always seem worse of a night anyway dont you agree?

  • I have been on Flecanaide almost as you but recently because of breakthrough episodes my EP increased dosage to 150 mgs 2x daily. Since being on this high dosage I haven't been well. I feel dizzy, foggy and increased pins and needles in my feet. The other symptom I've noticed is I'm having nightmares. I'm glad you posted this because I have felt that Fkecanaide is responsible. The dreams have been vivid and very disturbing which is adding to my anxiety. I have also noticed I have a rapid regular pounding in my body during most nights.

    I do suffer acute sleep apnea and have been using a CPap machine for four years since diagnosis. As per sleep Dr I am now at an average rate of stopping breathing during my sleep.

    I'm not a medical Doctor so I don't know what is calming these dreams were are having but I believe it's the Flecanaide.

    I'm going to start taking Pradaxa so I can take Flecanaide as PIP with less risk of stroke. I am very afraid of this medication and hope to have an ablation soon and be off it. Hope this helps you and others who may be suffering these symptoms.

  • I've been on flecanide for a few months, along with cardezem, since taking these meds I have also being having some strange dreams, and one that was very disturbing. I'm glad to hear that there are other people they have experienced the same thing. I also have Been so tired. It seems like I can't get out of this sleepiness.

  • Ectopic, could you please explain central apnea. I have sleep apnea and AFib and have only heard of obstructive apnea. Thank you, Gracey

  • Central apnoea is when your autonomic nervous system doesn't take over control of your breathing as you fall asleep, as opposed to obstructive apnoea which is caused by your airway blocking. A CPAP machine isn't much help with central apnoea.

    "During the night, people with central sleep apnea stop breathing when signals in the brain that tells the body to breathe don’t work properly. No effort is even made to inhale. In contrast, with obstructive sleep apnea, an effort is made to breathe in, but because of collapse in the upper airways, air can’t get into the lungs."


  • Thank you for sharing this important information. I have never heard on this condition and it makes so much sense to me. Before being diagnosed after a sleep test my daughter remarked to me, "Mom you stop breathing when you sleep." That was when I mentioned to my EP and got a diagnosis but was never told I could have another type of apnea besides obstructive. I will have a conversation with my sleep Dr at next appointment. I don't fit the norm for obstructive apnea, I'm not overweight, small neck size and normal blood pressure. Again, thank you! Gracey

  • I'd never heard of it either until recently.

  • I took Flecainide for about 20 years, only stopping after successful ablation last July. If anything I have more dreams since stopping perhaps because I sleep better with no AF. Don't think that the Flecainide had any effect so far as I was concerned.


  • 20 years is a long time on Flec - did it stop working for you ?

  • I was up to 200mg per day with another 100 as PIP but the episodes of AF were becoming more and more frequent so I decided that as they were lowering my quality of life that it was time for an ablation.

  • can understand that - how long did the Flecanaide control it for ? was it a sudden change when it broke though again ?

  • No, a gradual process of more frequent episodes.

  • I have been on 200mgs Flecainide for 2 years, have always had fairly vivid dreams and don't think they are more so...in fact I welcome vivid dreams as a sign of a deep sleep allowing the brain to release issues.

    I have however struggled over the last 2+ years with waking up in the night once/twice/three times sometimes quite abruptly and can't pin it down to anything yet.

    Maybe, in your case, you should change the timing of your Flecainide if you can, I take my last at 6pm. Also re "things are always worse at night", I understand men (not sure about ladies) can increase cortisol x5 at the end of the day. I combat this, when in for the evening, by spending an hour in a dark quiet room doing breathing and Yoga/Qigong exercises, prayer and focussing on the top 4 positives of the day (however small) and I always enjoy the rest of the evening much better in lighter mood.

    Have a great day.

  • That's very interesting orchardworker! Hadn't heard that before about women and Cortisol. Deep sleep is so important for everyone and especially for A Fib people. I really like the way you combat this too!! I love both yoga and chikung. Thanks for the inspiration. I think we do need to take things into our own hands instead of taking more and more meds! Thanks again. Enjoy your day :)

  • Thanks for that. Unfortunately I cannot alter the time I take the flecainide because I have to take three 50mg a day at 8 hour intervals. I take one at 6am and 2pm and 10pm. They also have to fit around meal times .

  • Pretty sure dream sleep occurs during REM sleep, which is the lighter sleep just before waking. I find my vivid and most "real", strange, and long-lasting dreams are connected to the periods of AF, a rapid flutter or tachycardia, I'm often in just before waking and at the end of my last flecainide cycle. Those usually involve a chase or other normally rapid heartbeat event, too, so I'm guessing either the dream sets off the afib or the other way around. Either way, it's often quite entertaining! Flecainide's most unwelcome side effect, for me, is the overwhelming sleepiness it causes...so my nighttime dose at 8 is actually welcome.

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