AF Association
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Stopping flecanide and verapamil

Hi, I used to take flecanide and verapamil as PIP but was getting 6 episodes a month. Cardiologist put me on them all the time but I feel awful and still getting a fibs. Can anyone tell me if they stopped these drugs cold turkey. I am contacting cardiologist on Monday but don't think I can go another day

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I have been on both off them, non problems with Flecanide, but taken off it eventually as it wasn't working for me. But verapmil I think made me very breathless. I spoke to my cardiologist who was surprised as it is not a usual side effect, but he did take me off it and I definitely became less breathless after a few days. It is now down on my records as allergic reaction so I don't get given it again. It may just be a coincidence but I feel it did affect me. Both of these straightaway but they were replaced by something else, so don't know about effects of cold turkey

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thanks for your reply. I suppose what I mean is use it again as PIP and get Dr to give me another. When you were changing did you just go straight from one to the other without any weaning

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It was a long while ago, but I think I did. Really can't remember, I suppose you have to be guided by your cardiologist, but I always think that we patients know our bodies better, and if you think they are affecting you adversely then talk to them about this. Mine are really good and do actually listen

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18 months before having ablation in March 2016 I was prescribed flecainide as PIP (100mg) plus metoprolol (25mg). The latter is a beta blocker. I was getting frequent episodes. Tried taking 100mg flec twice a day (as advised by EP) but felt bad doing this and still got AF attacks leading to additional flec + metoprolol to revert it.

Then I started experimenting and gradually reduced the dose to 25mg flecainide twice daily. I had two periods of 30 days without an AF event. I actually tried to stop taking the pills altogether which led to the events both times.

The EP was surprised when I said I was managing on 25mg twice daily. I went off them 5 days before the ablation. 1 day before I had an episode and was nervous as had been told not to take flecainide before the op. The AF self resolved within 2 hours with no pills.

So my experience with flecainide was very fickle. Since the ablation I take no drugs. Verapamil looks a bit dodgy?? I have read of research indicating that treatment with flecainide and beta blockers may contribute to the worsening of PAF so went for the low daily dose of flecainide to try to avoid having to take the metoprolol as part of the PIP treatment.

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Very interesting, I didn't realise you could take flecanide even at a low dose, I might experiment a bit. Thanks a lot!

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One thing to remember is a beta blocker or channel blocker ( if beta blockers don't suit) are sometimes advised with flecanide so don't change to taking flecanide on its own without checking with your doctor first

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I saw my arrhythmia nurse last week for the first time since having part two of my hybrid ablation in December. He has told me to take half the dose of flecanide (100mg a day instead of 200) for a few days then stop it. so far so good, but am a bit worried about stopping it altogether.

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i came off flecainide and a betablocker on my own but i reduced gradually, i went took the flecainide down by 50mg and waited at that rate for 2 weeks, then reduced again. I watched my heart rate with a cheap wrist monitor. Such a relief to be free of all the side effects. I have svt not af. My advice is go slow! Your body has had enough shocks i'm sure! Be gentle with yourself in all ways possible. Good luck.

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Thanks stargazer61. When on these drugs all the time I just wanted to lie down

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me too, couldn't do anything, having a bath was a chore, partner had to stay off work, i couldn't cook or anything, horrendous, but some folk are ok on them! I'm so much better off them, hopefully you will be too!

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