AF Association
13,231 members16,109 posts

Flecainide/memory loss?

New to afib in Jan. 2016. About 4 1/2 months ago, I started taking 50 mg of flecainide 2 x daily; later increased to 75 mg 2 x daily. For a couple of weeks now, my memory has been lousy/embarrassing. Things that should be easily recalled, are not easy. I search my memory for something I know I should know, and eventually I usually remember what it is that I should have known immediately. I find myself repeating things to others, and then trying to cover up the error.

Thyroid problems have been ongoing for about 10 years, so am very familiar with brain fog/memory loss/ fatigue, etc. that can accompany that disorder, but this seems to be different than thyroid symptoms; don't have the fatigue, etc. I may have it tested again, just to be certain it is within my personal level of normal.

Anyone experiencing memory loss due to flecainide? Thanks much!

45 Replies
oldestnewest

I'm so sorry that you are having this disconcerting problem. I took 2x100 flecainide for some time and now use it as a pill-in-the-pocket. I have not noticed any memory problems with it. It suits me very well unlike some other tablets.

Reply

I am like that without taking any such drugs. Who are you by the way? Never mind that who am ??? Thank heaven for spoll chicker on cumpoter or you would never be able to roade my pests.

10 likes
Reply

I am a female, 65 yrs, live in the USA. Came across this blog after being diagnosed with afib and have found it to be very informative/helpful. We have to listen to our docs, but the advice/info from those who have personally experienced afib, is also great, which is what we find here.

5 likes
Reply

Agree with you totally Barbara. Thank goodness for this informative forum.

Jean

3 likes
Reply

Hilarious! ;-)

Reply

Bob, not Barbara.

Reply

Oh Bob you do make me laugh and also make me feel better. Sann

Reply

I had that with Propafenone. I could not remember things and it became a serious problem because I was in business at the time. I explained to my bank manager that he could expect my memory to be bad, and he replied "that's the third time you've told me" and he wasn't joking, That was when I decided to have the ablation I was offered just to get my memory back. The ablation worked and no more drugs for me for many years I'm glad to say.

But I have been on other drugs that have done well and they haven't given me a problem. So maybe there's one out there for you?

Koll

2 likes
Reply

Thanks, Koll. I am having an ablation in 3 weeks. Scared, but can't wait. Hopefully the horrid memory will become history if able to stop taking Flecainide.

1 like
Reply

That's great, hope it works like mine did. It was really nothing to worry about but first time I was apprehensive, who wouldn't be?

Just don't forget the date and turn up the day after 😀.

Koll

Reply

I live in Us as well. Welcome to this amazing forum. Good luck on your ablation and getting off Flecanaide. I'm having an ablation soon and hope to also stop Flecanaide. Memory is certainly not what it was! Let us know how you do and best of luck to you, Gracey

Reply

Thanks, and looking forward to your report, too. Good luck to you as well.

Reply

Thank you!

Reply

Hi, Gracey23. I was re-reading an old post of mine to remember what I had said about memory/flecainide. I had the ablation Sept. 1, 2016 but then went back on Flecainide about a week later after a bad day of hard palpitations. Have done the 3 month monitor, and the next step will be to meet with the EP cardiologist when the report comes back.

Very anxious to see if I can get off Flecainide and on to something else, if necessary. The reason I chose an ablation was to get rid of the meds, so am hoping that will be the case.

How are you doing since your ablation? Are you off of Flecainide, and if so how is your memory!!?

Thanks!

Reply

Oh Koll, you've made me laugh. My daughter keeps telling me off for telling her the same story again. I just forget who I've told.

Jean

2 likes
Reply

Hi Barbara - I've taken Flecainide for about the last year and yes I've certainly got more forgetful and woolly headed. Just changed to Sotalol so will see how I get on with that. Does anyone else on here keep typing warfarin with a g on the end? I drive myself mad doing it!

Jean

2 likes
Reply

Thanks, Jeanie

Reply

Hi Jean, have you noticed any improvement in your memory since switching from Flecainide to Sotalol? I am still taking Flecainide and doing poorly with memory. Plan to discuss this with my doctor when I see him in a couple weeks.

Reply

Hi Barbara - I only took Sotalol for around 6 weeks, but it didn't stop my AF so I had to go back on to Flecainide. Yes, my memory is really bad too.

Jean

Reply

Sorry the Sotalol didn't work out. Flecainide does the trick for many people, but some of us still wish for a friendlier drug that will help afib.

When Googling memory loss/Flecainide, not much shows up. It is listed as a possible side effect, but is rare.

EHealthMe.com reports: "Memory impairment is found among people who take Flecainide Acetate, especially for people who are female, 60+ old , have been taking the drug for 1 - 6 months, also take medication Enbrel, and have Rheumatoid arthritis . We study 3,666 people who have side effects while taking Flecainide acetate from FDA and social media. Among them, 56 have Memory impairment."

Did you mention memory concerns to your doctor?

Reply

Oh dear! I see I've already asked you about your memory after switching from Flecainide to Sotalol...you had to go back to Flecainide. Sorry for asking it twice....I had forgotten! :-(

Reply

Hi, Jean, just wondering how you memory has been since changing from Flecainide to Sotoalol. ? Wishing you well....

Reply

Hi Barbara, I was only on Sotalol for about 6 weeks in the summer, but it didn't work for me and I went back on to Flecainide. My memory is extremely bad.

Reply

I wonder if there is another drug available that is as effective as Flecainide, or similar. Would like to test the brain to see if it would be better while not on Flecainide. Did you notice an improvement in memory during your 6 weeks away from Flecainide?

Merry Christmas!!

Reply

I really don't remember, was just getting over my third ablation. Merry Christmas to you too. x

Reply

Hi Barbara, yes I think Flec has some bearing on memory. I have been on 2x100gms per day for 2+ years now and use a lot more of those little adhesive yellow stickers on my office desk. About 6 months ago my short term memory was very bad but interestingly it has improved back but still not fully normal and I regularly have to assist my memory e.g. I take a few seconds to hugely exaggerate what ever it is I need to remember - it sounds difficult but it only takes a few seconds once you get used to it and works overtime for me.

1 like
Reply

I totally relate to that !!!

Reply

Barbara, are you really stressed about your AF? Stress (in my case grief) had a horrendous effect on my memory, I had conversions and made decisions with business colleagues and later remembered absolutely nothing of them. At the time I thought I was going mad, which stressed me even more. But eventually things got back to normal. Good luck.

Reply

Not sure about the extent of my stress. Had an ablation for SVT's about 13 yrs ago so have sort of experienced this once before. I also have "chemo brain" which is the real deal, too. But because the ol brain has been much below par, I've wanted to blame something besides true loss in brain functioning! :-/ ! I did read on a "medical" site (but only one) that "memory loss" is a side effect of Flecainide. So....I'm hoping that it is!

Reply

I certainly have a problem with my memory after taking flecainide. As I only take it as a pip it is very noticeable on the day after taking it. It's like a shutter going down in my brain, with word recall problems, and a short term memory recall difficulty. Fortunately once I'm a couple of days past taking it, my memory improves again.

1 like
Reply

So good to hear this, Helen, thank you! Sorry for your memory problem, though, but glad that it is only temporary for you. Yay! Another reason to ditch the meds ASAP.

Reply

Hi Barbara. My memory is definitely not what it was before taking Flecainide / Diltiazem / Warfarin. It is so embarrassing to start a conversation with someone and then forget the names of people and places that would normally trip off the tongue.

I have yet to make a decision as to whether I have an ablation as I have a twisted oesophagus that my EP apparently cannot guarantee will survive the procedure without damage. I have to weigh up getting off the meds (which I hate taking) or risk damage to my oesophagus - still under consideration.

Netty

Reply

Wow, tough decision ahead of you, NooNoo. Can you find a very experienced doc that will be comfortable/confident that it would be a do-able procedure? I know that sounds easier than it really is, though. Thanks for sharing the memory issues. I'm beginning to feel that Flecainide is the culprit, rather than something more concerning. (This is "concerning" enough, though!!)

Reply

Hi Barbara. I do have confidence in the the Consultant I am seeing who I am seeing privately. The last time I saw him, I asked him if he thought the oesophagus could be a problem and he said that he didn't know as he had never had any experience of this complication before. It was then he prescribed Flecainide and said that perhaps, if the meds stopped the episodes of AF, I would decide not to have an ablation. I got the distinct feeling that he was reluctant to do it.

The episodes, as they were, have now stopped but I do get very slight symptoms very occasionally when I know that I am in AF.

Netty

Reply

Hi, Netty- 7 months have passed since this blog started. Wondering how your memory is now, if still on Flecainide. ?? Thanks...

Reply

Hi Barbara. Apologies for the late response, working during the week, leaves me little time to catch up with all the posts.

I am still taking Flecainide, 50mg twice a day. My memory is not great I have to admit but then it never has been.

I am also on Warfarin which can, from recent studies, cause / hasten dementia when taken for a long period. With this in mind, I am going to talk to my EP when I see him on 24th to see if I can change to a NOAC.

Netty

Reply

Hi, Netty. I didn't mean to sound impatient...sorry! :-) I was just thinking that after this much time had passed, you may have a new assessment on your memory!

The dementia issue is troublesome and treatment can't come soon enough. Progress is being been made, though, little by little. Our hope is for our children's generation, that by the time they become seniors, dementia concerns will be minimal. Sounds great, doesn't it!

I will soon be going off of 50 mg flecainide. If I see a positive before/after difference, I'll let you know. All the best to you.

Reply

I've been back on flecainide for 8 months now after a 4 year break post ablation! Have noticed memory problems but just thought it was an age thing!!! (I'm 59). Second ablation tomorrow (INR) permitting so here's to a better memory and quieter heart!!

Reply

Wishing much luck to you!! Keep us posted.

Reply

Thank you Barbara, feeling a little anxious now admission at 11.30 tomorrow!! Will post as soon as I am able!

Reply

Best of luck Cclegg. Let us know how you get on.

Netty

Reply

Thank you Netty, will keep you posted!

Reply

I am not on that drug but I think Af has caused a memory loss. The cash machine didn't give me money I asked for but charged me anyway. And when the bank asked me questions to prove who I was I could not remember the answers,it was embassing and 😤 frustrating. I have to write everything down.

Reply

Some time ago I asked the memory/dementia question (as it relates to afib) to one of my docs. He looked at me with sort of a questioning face, and said not to be concerned about memory loss with afib. He went on with some explanation, but I don't remember what it was!! :-(

3 likes
Reply

Aaaah, is that what it is! Relief! Yes Barbara, I have been on Flecainide since the start of my AF, 2 1/2 years ago. So annoying not to be able to recall words, especially when in France & I know it’s not my bad French. Not all of it anyway. Used to be quite eloquent but I have definitely noticed a difference. Have had 2nd ablation, October 2017, which was a 3D mapping one & very pleased with how well it went & EP said it was successful. Said I could come off Bisoprolol & Flec after a year of stability. Hopefully memory will improve after that. Bisoprolol I’ve had to switch to nightime dosing as I would feel faint & weak with even light tasks/exercise. Now have a low pulserate so having to halve that. It’s made loads of difference. Hope you can lose your Flecainide or cut down soon. Let us know how you go.

Reply

You may also like...