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I've been reading posts on here for a few months never posted anything but have learnt lots. Bit of background, 4 years ago I had a pericardiectomy due to constrictive pericarditis, all went well and I recovered extremely well with no lasting effects and I was able to return to running, cycling and spinning classes, all of which I'd enjoyed up until about a year before the op, although not running half and full marathons only 10k at the most as was told the training required for marathons might put to much pressure on my heart after what I'd been through. All was well until returning from holiday in May this year and on going out for a run felt more breathless than usual. After a couple of weeks of this I went to GP who decided to do an ECG and send me for an echo. The ECG showed I was in AF, the echo showed my heart was fine apart from the AF which is persistent, I do not have any other symptoms apart from the breathlessness whilst exercising. I was put on Apixaban and 2.5mg of Bisoprolol (reduced to 1.25mg as resting HB was going as low as 38) as BP slightly high. Resting heart beat is now anywhere between 48-60. I was referred to cardiologist in September and have had a cardiac MRI and 24 hour holter test. MRI showed heart was fine and no signs of previous constriction. Holter test showed persistent AF. Saw cardiologist Thursday and he has started me on Amiodarone in readiness for a cardioversion in approx 6-8 weeks and a few months after? I was reluctant to take this drug due to everything I've read about it, I asked if there was anything else I could take and was told this was the best for getting back into NSR and staying there. Anyone else out there who has had this drug before cardioversion? Has anyone else taken any other drug before cardioversion? Comments and advice most welcome! Sorry for long post.

8 Replies

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  • Amiodarone is often used alongside cardioversion as it helps the heart to stay in NSR. The length of time you are likely to be on it is not a problem so try not to worry. The side effects tend to build up over time so should not affect you too badly if at all.

    That is always the problem with reading things up ! Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

    Bob

  • Thanks Bob, I think you are right! I tend to try and read everything I can, good as well as bad, but like most I concentrate more on the bad.

  • Hi, I was put on Flecainide before my cardioversion in July. However I came off it in October due to side effects and went back into persistent AF a few weeks ago. I'm now taking Dronedarone which is similar to amiodarone and need weekly blood tests. I'm having another cardioversion next month. Hope this helps

    Stuart

  • Hi Stuart!

    Hope you are keeping well while waiting for your cardioversion next month. Just would like to check with you on Dronedarone that you are on now. Is there any side effect? Do you have to take it permanently or will be assessed and might be off it at some point? Thanks.

  • Hi, I only started taking Dronedraone last week so it is still early days. As yet there are not any side effects that I am aware of, but I have a blood test tomorrow. When I saw my consultant we discussed staying on it until a possible ablation, but I'm in two minds about whether I am better off being left in persistent AF as I don't have too many symptoms.

  • Dronedarone can cause a dry non-productive cough. This may resolve but if it doesn't you may be one of the rare people who have a reaction to it. I would guess from you user name that you are from Bristol, if so, the North Bristol Lung Centre at Southmead Hospital have experience in that reaction. If you have a reaction your GP should measure your blood oxygen (SpO2). If it's too low there is a respiratory Hot Clinic at Southmead; consultants who are aware are: Professor Millar, Dr. David Smith, Dr. Andrew Medford, as COP can be confused with community acquired pneumonia: been there, done that.

    I recall that creatinine levels should be checked by blood test seven days after you have started taking dronedarone and compared with the baseline before treatment started.

  • Thanks Stuart, sorry to hear you are back in AF. One of my concerns is that nothing was mentioned about blood tests to monitor things, I think I will have to speak to my GP to possibly get them done. Hope your cardioversion works, good luck.

  • You must have blood tests before starting it and then again no more than three months later though 8 to 10 weeks is probably best. This is often missed.

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