"Permanent AF"

Further to Krissybee's recent post, being new to this, I was curious about "episodes" or attacks when in permanent AF.

My heartbeat has been irregular permanently since being first diagnosed in early August. On meds since then but no problems apart from an occasional palpitation or a series of palpitations. Also experiencing mild tiredness and some breathlessness when exerting myself, (both of which rightly or wrongly I have attributed to the Beta Blockers). Apart from what I have mentioned above I have had no other symptoms of "episodes" or "attacks"

So my question for those of us in permanent AF is does this mean constant irregular heartbeat only or can I still expect an attack or an episode on top of being permanently in AF? Also for people whose AF comes and goes (PAF?), are you on medication permanently or do you only take medication when you have an AF attack/episode? Would you describe an attack or an episode as something worse than I have experienced so far?

Many thanks


10 Replies

  • We are all different.

    I had PAF for many years and was on both Bisoprolol and Flecainide. In addition when I flipped into AF I took extra Flecainide as a Pill in the Pocket which on the majority of occasions took me back into NSR.

    On the other occasions when that course of action was unsuccessful I was generally electrically cardoverted.

    See if you can get an appointment with an EP Cardiologist as ablation may sort you out.


  • Paroxysmal AF when it comes and goes is very distressing for the patient as it appears as events or attacks and they are usually highly symptomatic. Those with permanent AF are often asymptomatic and quite unaware of their hearts most of the time.

  • Hi Greenway :-) you say [quote ''Also for people whose AF comes and goes (PAF?), are you on medication permanently or do you only take medication when you have an AF attack/episode? Would you describe an attack or an episode as something worse than I have experienced so far?'']...

    ....I have P-AF and I am on permanent medication , an anticoagulant and a betablocker. I still get episodes but at the moment when I have them I don't get the horrible symptoms I previously experienced pre medication. I assume this is because the beta blockers are helping to keep my heart rate and high blood pressure at a reasonable level 'putting the break on' my AF. I don't have medication for rhythm control (PIP) as yet, I am able to cope without that for now.

  • I had MI 10 yrs ago with subsequent ejection fraction about 30%. Went into afib several months ago and developed CHF. Was cardioverted but NSR only lasted 2 weeks. Was put on Dofetilide and reverted to NSR with resolution of failure. No drug side effects and have NSR ever since. Resolved my CHF Miricle drug for afib so far..

  • Thanks Etheral

    Is Dofetilide a Beta Blocker? I'm hoping my GP or Cardiologist may recommend it for me. Have you sufferered any side effects? Was it suggested to you or did you have to push to go on it?


  • Thanks Doodle

    As I'm new to this, it's helpful to know how other people's situation may be similar or different to mine. I have had 2 different GP's from my surgery tell me different things about Bisoprolol, ie one saying it hasn't got any rhythm control properties and one saying it has. If it hasn't got any rhythm control properties, I just wonder how long they will keep me on it just to control my rate which seems OK at the moment (in the 70's normally). Maybe I should ask to go on something which has rhythm control as well as rate control. Trying to guess what the suggested medications regime will be going forward for me if I am a permanent Afibber.


  • Hi. Here is my take. I. was diagnosed permanent AF in May this year. My experience is that the medication bisoprolol keeps you pretty stable. However I have lost aerobic. Capacity and my general enthusiasm towards exertion. My understanding is that the condition will deteriorate over time so long term medication will need adjusting. One Cardio version that lasted for five weeks. I have an ablation on Tuesday that should sort me out and be off Bisoprolol by xmas. Hoping will feel pretty normal again but avoiding triggers like too much booze etc. I hope this helps.

  • Thanks for your reply Afibsimon

    I saw the GP yesterday and she indicated that it maybe a good idea to request an ablation after maybe another attempt at a CV. The Cardiologist also previously said an MRI will be arranged to see if there is any underlying cause etc. I too have changed my diet, virtually no alcohol and still ride my bike, but don't over exert myself now while I'm in permanent AF. The strange thing is that before I was diagnosed in August I felt fine apart from the fact that I had dropped off the pace slightly when riding in a group but I put this down to age! Hope your Ablation goes well for you on Tuesday.

  • Hi. Igreenaway I noticed that I was running slower in the gym but initially put it down to a new gym and different running machines. I did not get diagnosed until I got pericarditis and ended up in hospital. Looking back I had days where I could not run. I would just put it down to off days. Now I know this was when the AF was intermittent. I do run and ride in the gym but not as often as I used to I do not push it and also find I get fatigued much quicker than I used to. Riding the bike outside is okay until i hit a hill. It sounds like we have a very similar experience. I will post the result of my ablation and progress on here. My Cardiologist and EP both say the sooner you get the treatment the more likely it will stick. You have to have the CV first incase that is all you need. Good luck with it remember there are plenty of us out there feeling the frustration.

  • Thanks and good luck for Tuesday as well

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