Drinking after 2nd cardio version


Just had second cardio version which seems to have worked for the last 6 days so I'm quite confident it will stay in sinus Rythm.The dilemma is its my birthday soon and obviously it would be nice to have a bottle or 2 of wine.However I'm worried that it may make my heart race and alter the Rythm back to AF.Im on amiodrone and they think that has helped the heart stay in Rythm after second cardio version.Can anybody let me know there experiences.Thanks.

50 Replies

  • Intolerance to alcohol was the first symptom I had with my AF many years ago. Used to get my heart racing, feel dizzy etc just one sip, so I stopped drinking. Saved a lot of money!

    A few years after my last ablation I tried a glass of wine (we have shares in a vineyard) and apart from a slight unsteadiness all was well. Now I do have a couple of small glasses most warm evenings sitting on the terrace with no ill effects.

    I explain this to show that I am not anti drinking but say to you in all seriousness DO NOT RISK IT!

    Cardioversion is not a cure for AF so you still have it. Alcohol is known to be a trigger for many people. You do the maths as they say.

    Personal opinion based on experience.


  • Hi Bob,

    Thanks for that I did give up for 6 months last year and only had a few drinks since then.Yes maybe your right I need to not bother drinking.looks like Lobster and steak without the wine 😀.

  • As someone who relapsed into persistent AF within 72 hours of my ablation I say DON'T take any chances, particularly with alcohol.

    I loved my wine and also a bottle of cheap champagne every week circa £8. Originally I was under government guidelines the when persistent AF diagnosed cut in half but then, 4 months, decided why risk exacurbating the AF so cut it out.

    Does alcohol interact with amioderone?

  • Hi Peter,

    Yes that's kind of what I think best not to take a chance and avoid I suppose shame especially when and if weather improves.but better skin a/f under control and being in sinus Rythm makes you feel so much better.That's another

    Thing whether I can drink with amiodrone !

  • A bottle or 2? Is this with friends? I would not dream of drinking half a bottle of wine.

    Non alcoholic wine has been discussed on the forum with enthusiastic suggestions.

    Good time of year to have a birthday, though. Mine is between Christmas and New Year. Not good at all.

  • Watch some of the non alcoholic wines because they can have sulphate or other things in them which are also triggers.

  • I think this was discussed. I haven't tried any of them myself.

  • Yes it was a few months ago. I was highlighting because we have quite a few newish people on here but I should have said search past posts.

  • I think stick to less than a bottle of wine, that will be fine. And drink lots of water at the same time. Moderation is important.

  • That's not a bad idea Jonathon but it's whether I can stick to less than a bottle lol.but I agree less than a bottle shouldn't trigger it seems to be if I drink over a bottle in makes the AF worse.

  • I hear you my man! Its taking me a while to buy into this 'moderation' thing. Its all a bit boring.

  • I've known alcohol was a trigger for me for many years, absolutely no doubt about it, but I was hard wired in to drinking as a sign that I was still living a good and full life despite the AF. Now, after coming up 2 years of no booze, I realise that there are so many other ways to enjoy yourself without a drink, especially as I know it supports my ( current) AF free life. As it was when I gave up smoking for similar reasons 10 plus years ago, I now find I don't miss it at all, and the upsides are so obvious, that always gets me though any doubtful moments.

  • Hi Bob,

    That's a nice spin on non drinking as I say I gave up for 6 months last year and I felt great.I didn't even want to drink but was forced into on my friends birthday.i should have just said no but you know how it is lol.I live near the beach so when the sun remembers what time of year it is I'm happy to go walking.Anyway thanks again Bob and to everyone else for sharing there experiences !

  • Never been much of a drinker but enjoyed a glass of wine or two in the evenings occasionally and especially when abroad which is quite often. However have now stopped alcohol altogether as I don't want to waste the good work of two ablations. the most recent being nearly 4 weeks ago. Nearly all my meds instructions say avoid alcohol so why risk it - I don't feel any less enjoyment or that I am being unsociable.

    Real friends and relatives will accept that without question - best to ignore those who try to encourage you to do otherwise.

  • Yes I think either a very small amount or possibly no alchohol at all on my birthday.My doc has mentioned ablation if the cardio version doesn't work long term.Im

    Just so happy that my hear rate is almost bang on 65 when I check it and not like

    a pattern of very high and low trophs and generally really racey heart rate.horrible to feel your heart jumping around and I've had quite a few years of that.well decisions decisions I guess it's just not worth risking it that's what I'm coming round too.

  • Hi Danny,

    If Alcohol was an issue for you before then the chances are it will be again. I don't have issues whilst drinking, my problem is a day or so after and is probably down to dehydration. This is caused after what can only be described as a binge session. Government rules state anything over a couple of drinks is binge drinking, so take from that what you like. I've recently had my second ablation and I'm currently on a alcohol hiatus, but I don't plan on giving up, but will reassess my future drinking habits.

    You are on Amiodorone which is quite a powerful drug and for me it worked a treat. It kept me in NSR for months and months and basically I lived my life as normal including drinking habits. However, it caused me thyroid issues and since then other meds have kept AF at bay, but they do kind of come with the caveat less booze :(

    Back you your dilemma. Two bottles is probably not a good start, so start your drinking lightly and responsibly. Monitor how you feel and what issues if any this causes you. I don't see the odd glass of wine of beer causing any harm, but hitting the ground running on a few bigger scoops will probably cause you problems. Try downing a few glasses of water if you do decide to have a few beers. For me this works OK, although I do pay quite a few trips to the Loo :)

    All the best,


  • Hi Jason,

    Thanks for your reply.Yes alchohol had been a problem in the past mainly from binge drinking.I definately think if I were to drink I would go easy and not drink alot.i think your right about de hydration and I'm sure if I drank water after each glass I might be ok.The point is might that's what puts me off I really shouldn't chance it.just will be quite tempting on the day.I just don't think it's worth it plus I hate hangovers much nicer to feel bright in the mornings 😀.!

  • Danny

    Why chance it? It's like playing Russian Roulette (but without a high risk of death).

    I have persistent AF and waiting for my second ablation.

    On my birthday last year and on new years eve I had less than 1/4 of a flute of champagne over half to one hour and I was OK. All of my friends were quite OK that I was drinking water or soda and lime. At a christening last month I took a couple of small sips of Prosecco and within 5 minutes my heart was racing and protesting. Probably went up by 25 to 30 bpm. It remained like that for the next couple of hours. Don't know what would have happened if I had had a 1/4 of a flute full.

    As others have said you can have a good time without the alcohol. The first Friday of every month a group of us go out for a drinks evening (anywhere between 6 and 15) but for the last 18 months I haven't drunk any alcohol but still had a good time.

  • Hi Peterh,

    I'm kinda thinking that's the best bet.im so happy to be in NSR it would be silly of me todo anything to change it.I just wanted a few views I can always see how I go without a drink on birthday I'm sure it wouldn't bother me that much.i can always eat my way though it lol.thsnks again for sharing that peterh all info and advice is welcome 😀

  • If you have any doubts Danny, then don't do it. It's all over this site about how AF affects us all in different ways and I categorically believe that. In 4 years of having AF I cannot honestly pinpoint one thing that triggers my AF. I'd love to know that a sip of wine or a cup of coffee or a Chinese meal or too much exercise causes an AF episode, but in my case I don't have a definitive trigger. Over the years I thought I had pin pointed several, but I now know that isn't the case. I do know too much beer will put me in AF. Not all the time, but if I went for it every weekend then I'd be nailed on to go into AF. If a sip of beer / wine puts you in AF, then it's not worth it mate. If you do like a beer now and again and it doesn't affect you, then why not? Moderation is another word that will be used a lot on this site.

    Have a great Birthday regardless

  • Hi Jason,

    Thanks for your reply.Im pretty sure drink is a trigger for me.food doesn't seem to affect me touch wood lol.its such a hard decision but when I think that I only actually feel good for couple hours of drinking.then hangover and general feeling of not well.im really coming round to not drinking at all ever.but that's so difficult when I go out with a crowd who are drinking.as they are talking rubbish and over excited and all normal and relaxed.god knows either way I'm sure I will be responsible and thanks for the birthday wishes I've still got s few weeks to deliberate yet 😀

  • I have had PAF since 2003 and take Flecainide and Atenolol. I drink a couple of SMALL glasses of wine a few nights and when I go out just one pint of beer. I think everything in moderation as I find I sometimes get panic attacks and a drink helps me so you have to weigh things up. Dave

  • Hi Dave,

    Lots of good advice and I know if I moderate it will be ok I'm just not sure I can moderate lol.easy to say but when I've had a drink it's not so easy to be sensible.Need to have a serious think about it saying that I've got 20 days to contemplate cheers Dave 😀

  • Hi. I talk myself out of drinking any more by saying it is nicer to drink a little rather than a lot and then have an attack and then I would be scared to drink anything again! My Cardiologist said "everything in moderation" . She said men always ask her two questions. The first is "can I drink" and the second is "can I have sex" Ha Ha. Us men have to get our priorities right dont we? Ha Ha. Dave

  • Hi Dave,

    thats funny lol.made my day but yes moderation seems to be they key with drinking.but less moderation on sex haha !!

  • Yes. I thought that would make you laugh! Dave

  • Have all of you who replied had cardio versions prior to your ablations ?

  • No I have refused. I only have it if have to. I know people who have had it done and no better and still on meds. Some are worse! I will only have it when I really have to. Cardiologist said will only do it anyway if I am completely happy to have it done as it is not to be taken lightly. I am scared anyway. Dave

  • Yeah I thought I don't really want ablation lol but see how things go !

  • Sorry I meant patient in my replies lol

  • Having a boozy night doesn't affect me. I just make sure i re-hydrate well the following day.

    I've had two cardioversions, the first one keeping me in rhythm for two years. I am on no other medication

    Just wanted to put another view out there, than "keep away from the booze"

    I'm not suggesting going mad, but you should but able to enjoy a few simple things and put two fingers up to AF

    I'm not sure what my triggers are. I had a whole heap of things going on potentially on my first bout of AF, caffeine, sleep issues (young child) & stress at work

    Jon P

  • Hi Jon p,

    Yes ee hydration or hydration is probably the key and not going mad.im pleased to hear your cardio versions lasted a long time.im hoping the same this time round but I know that too much alchohol could be a trigger.i drink prosseco and interestingly I have found a skinny prosseco.Containing less than less than 50% of the normal amount of sugar added in normal production.However it's not cheap but that's another consideration as too why we don't feel well after drinking as a lot of wine is full of sugar ! Anyhow thanks Jon p

  • I think you have to approach it with precautions. I suspect that when the 'paths' are open for AF then, alcohol like many other things, can be a trigger. 2 Ablations in, I would like to think that the 'paths' have been blocked although the glitches we get may suggest otherwise.

    I would suggest tanking yourself up with water before and after alcohol. I asked my doctor whether alcohol could be the cause of the glitches and he said, 'highly unlikely, you weren't thinking of giving it up were you?'

    We have all been through hell with AF and now it is time to give ourselves a break. We just need to be sensible.

  • Hi Richmert,

    Yes a break from bloody A/F is so nice after being in A/F for years.and a drink would be nice just forget about any worries.But just too worried at this time to even consider without a great deal of thought.i do appreciate your view.and water before and after is a good idea.i suppose if you drink the same amount of water as you do alchohol probably be ok.esoecially with skinny prosseco 😀.

  • I was told and I have read that alcohol increases the conductivity of the cells and that is why it encourages AF. That applies if you are in AF or not in AF. I know for many who don't understand ordinary electrics it may be difficult to understand but I'll have a go to remind you of your school days. If you have a battery, a resistor and a lamp and connect the resistor between the lamp and one battery terminal the lamp will light up but will be dim. Think of that as your normal situation. Then you put a piece of wire across the resistor and the lamp then glows brighter because most of the electricity flows through the bypass loop and only a little goes through the resistor.

  • Hi Peterh,

    Again very true I'm sure.just need to not be hasty and take an informed decision I'm tore between yes a small amount like a bottle and lots of water or none at all.shame as if it ever does get hot that's the time people or I like a drink.but hey ho could be a dry birthday.or a hiccup one lol.

  • Love it Peter but just how much alcohol are we talking about here. Seriously, I was ready to give it up but for me, the evidence has not been conclusive. I guess we all want to pinpoint an exact trigger but, after all these years I am still not close. The only thing I have not considered is the Moon in relation to say, Mars.

  • amiodarone and alcohol don't mix. I had a recurrence of AF which lasted a long time after I drank 1& 1/2 bottles of wine when I was on Amiodarone. I would suggest that if you must have some wine on your birthday limit it to half bottle of wine.

  • Hi Tony,

    Yeah I did wonder as there isn't any information in the pack of amiodrone.and I couldn't find anything concrete online re-:alchohol.i have had a few bottles here and there before my last cardio version.Also whilst on amiodrone but I can't remember if it made my AF

    worse or not.Anyway thanks for the advise !

  • I would hope that you are not still on Amiodarone. The long term side effects can be fatal. It seems a good drug to get you back to sinus rythym. But therafter one should stop it as soon as possible.

  • Wow, sorry, I missed the bit about the Amiodarone, do not go near alcohol and keep out of the sun. The drug will be keeping you AF free but your priority is to get off of it and its 6 month after life as soon as possible.

  • Blimey.yeah will get off Amiodrone ASAP.why can't I sit in the sun I was told be carefull of too much sun but that's about it?

  • And why don't go near alchohol on amiodrone Richmert thanks.

  • I am sure I am not speaking out of turn when I say that Amiodarone is really toxic and a risk to all of your organs. I was on tablet version prior to first ablation and they pumped me full of the stuff via IV prior to my second. I ended up with 2 infected arms which were incredibly painful as well as swollen resulting in antibiotics. It was the only drug that worked for me but, I wish I could have had the ablation earlier to avoid taking it. I started taking it over the Christmas period and consultant said to limit alcohol to a pint. You will save money on sunbeds but I would not go out without the factor 50 whilst you are on it. I am sure I read here that you can get factor 50 on prescription whilst on Amiodarone. I would like to be tested to make sure I have not suffered any damage as a result of taking the drug.....circa 12 months in all with a break in between.

  • Oh god didn't realise it was that bad.as I say will speak to the doc ASAP. My g/f mother said her sight started to go bad.i will try and come off ASAP will speak to the cardio specialist.sounds like a very dangerous drug !

  • It effects the skin and makes it more sensitive to UV. Trust me, I forgot and lobster in 15 minutes. It stays in the system for 6 months after you stop taking it so still need to be careful.

  • Will see about that prescription for sun cream also.Thanks again Richmert !

  • I was going to be on Amiodarone for a month before and three months after my ablation. However I developed liver malfunction due to being on simvastatin so never took Amiodarone. When I saw EP in Jan 14 he told me that even in the winter Factor 50 needed to be applied even if I was spending most of my time indoors and that I needed to wear long sleeved shirts (I normally wear polo shirts). He probably was more cautious since I am fair skinned and have strawberry blond hair and do burn easily.

  • I need to get off amiodrone ASAP Peter and always remember factor 50 as I have a lot of weeding and gardening todo.so I'm in the sun a lot !

  • Yes I will be speaking to the dr regarding that tony I've only been on them a few months so hopefully no damage

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