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Flecainide and doom and gloom sensations

Because of some short-lived paroxysmal afib episodes I was started on Flecainide in mid-2016 -- 100mg x 2 per 24 hours. Since then the 100 mg X 2 has been reduced to 50mg x2, and, more recently the cardiologist gave me the OK to reduce that to just the nighttime dose with the morning dose used as a PIP. Because I haven't yet needed the PIP I'm essentially taking only 50 mg per 24 hours. I also take Xarelto 15 mg at night. Since being put on these two meds I've experienced anxiety attacks now and then, (plus a general feeling of anxiety most of the time). Along with this are dreams that, although not nightmarish in content, come with a frightening sense of doom and gloom. Even when I remember the general setting of the dream later in the day or several days later, that feeling of fear and doom floods into my head, often with jumbled fragments of "memories" that don't make any sense. This is a huge puzzle to me, and quite worrisome. I've had CtScans, and EEGs and have been assured that the brain looks healthy and I'm not going crazy (could've fooled me!). Looking for something to blame, I'm wondering if anyone else has had these kinds of dreams, "memories", feeling of terror, etc., as a result of Flecainide or even Xarelto? My memory also has become alarmingly bad since taking these two meds, but I believe that aspect has already been discussed. I think I've also posted a note before about the doom and gloom and anxiety attacks, so please forgive me if this seems like old news. Just hoping that perhaps it might catch someone's eye who might identify in some way. I welcome all input! Thanks everyone!

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Hi, I have only taken Flecainide 50 mg every 12 hours. It works well for my afib, but I have never had the issues you are having. We each are different though. I also take 5 mg of warfarin daily and metoprolol 50 mg every 12 hours also. The metoprolol makes me kind of tired, but I am not complaining if my afib stays at bay. I take mine around 8:30-9:00 at night and do fine. Hope this helps.

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I can only suggest you try various things (with professional advice where meds involved) including just giving it some more time. My cardiologist doesn't favour the roller coaster of just one dose of Flecainide per day as he says it creates instability for the heart and I am thinking the heart is linked via the Vagus Nerve to the brain and maybe to your dreams. Another idea try working on mindfulness, meditation and if you have a faith prayer an hour or so before bed.

Hope something there helps.

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Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments, secondtry! Your suggestions remind me that I need to put more effort into the mindfulness/meditation/prayer aspects. Thank you!

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AF itself will cause anxiety and feelings of doom and gloom are very common, nightmares/bad dreams may also be a manifestation of the anxiety or a side effect of the meds.

Mindfulness practice does help enormously but also understanding how your body, especially the ANS - which vagus nerve is a major part - will help as when we understand what is happening within our bodies we can often be the observer of the symptoms.

I wrote a post in January about the links between anxiety and AF you may find useful and also

hgi.org.uk/useful-informati...

Best wishe CD.

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CDreamer --your suggestions are reassuring and much appreciated! Many thanks for taking the time to share them and for providing the link which I will be using in a few minutes

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Hi Nanfranz, I was put on Flecainide many years ago before my cryoablation for PAF. I took it t daily for a couple of months (can't remember the dosage) but found I got extremely depressed and eventually went to my GP. He took me off Flecainide and had to prescribe an antidepressant which I took for about 6 months to get me back into a good mindset. He also filled out a Yellow Card to report it. Depression is a side effect (or was then) and as I has Postnatal depression he thought I had a predisposition.

I now only use Flecainide as a PIP very occasionally with no problem.

All the best

Jackie

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Jackie -- thank you for this! So good to know that you are OK with using Flecainide only as needed. I do understand about the depression, which I am dealing with too, since taking this med. Since I rarely (according to a 2-week monitor) get afib, and only very brief episodes, I can't help wondering if I really need even the one 50mg nightly dose. As I take Xarelto, I'd like to think that if I do have a brief episode, the fact that I'm on Xarelto would protect me from anything worse, such as stroke. That's another question for the cardiologist when I see him again.

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I think I know the feelings you describe, mine were not so extreme but horrible all the same. I wonder if the feelings are a form of the 'feeling of impending doom' which apparently is common in people with arrhythmias? My theory is that a sudden disturbance in rhythm which we may not consciously feel sends an alarm message to the brain causing the equivalent of an inbuilt cardioversion. Somebody with much more knowledge can feel free to rubbish this idea if they like but it helps me to have an 'explanation'. Btw I seldom have them since my ablation 😀 When I was younger I had a period when I had hallucinations, a sudden flash of a horrible creature appearing and I was too scared to tell the doctor because you don't want to be diagnosed as crazy when you have small children to care for, stupid I know.... anyway I recently discovered the reason by accident, can't remember what it was unfortunately but if you Google hallucinations it might help?

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I like the idea of 'an in built cardioversion'. I got the 6 second flutter or tachy last week and went through that instant 'goodbye cruel world'. I coughed and tripped it back into normal.

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Buffafly -- a big thank you for your understanding and your helpful comments, which make very good sense and are very encouraging!

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I have horribly vivid dreams of sadness and doom and I am on bisoprolol.

Like you the feelings from these stay with me throughout the day.

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Cherlemaria -- I so appreciate your sharing this. Thank you!

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I hated being on Flecainide. My only regret is that I did not have an ablation sooner. I was concerned about the risks but for me being on flecainide for the rest of my life ( I was 55 when I had an ablation) was such a horrible prospect the risk seemed worth taking

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I have just been put on the waiting list for ablation after a lot of humming and haaing by me...posts like yours helped me to make the decision.Like you,I dont fancy being on these drugs forever..except anti coag which i will need to stay on (chad4)Ben166

I do get occasional doom and gloom moments..am on bisoprolol 5mg,flec 100 x 2 ,Losartan 100mg

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YES to the ablation, my PAF got to the stage where I had nothing to lose, I had literally run from A-Z on the tablets and nothing had worked other than the toxic amiodarone.

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Thank you!bring it on.....

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it is a dilemma as the risks from ablation are real, but there are also risks associated with Flecainide.

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I hope your wait for ablation is brief, Wilsond! I don't think I'm a candidate at this stage, since my afib is only occasional and brief. Best wishes to you! And thanks for your comment!

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Cannot say that I experienced any of those problems as a result of Flecanide. I did however suffer from flutter and severe digestion problems every evening. It got to the point where the side effects were bringing me down and I switched tablets.

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I do get these...but not as much as you at the moment.CDreamers links are very useful,I have found them to help a lot when im feeling anxious.

I do think i wouldmention it to my GP,as maybe the combination of the two drugs is counter productive,also it makes sense to me what someone posted about the lone 50mg dose maybe inadequate...

Hope you feel better soon.Do try the suggestions abiut mindfulness and relaxation xx

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When I took Flec I was down right depressed. Plus I had visual problems and was fatigued all the time.

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When I was first diagnosed with AF I really thought the end had come. I think that this is the main cause of all the negative feelings and sleep problems most of us find we have to deal with. With the powerful drugs we take only adding to these. You have to come to terms with this condition the best way you can as we all react differently. My dread was having to go to A&E each time, I think it just made it worse. The first time I managed to stay at home throughout an episode was the turning point for me and subsequently I gradually stopped being so stressed about AF slept better less dreams stopped worrying and dreading and therefore less and shorter episodes!! As the medics tell you 'It won't kill you' but they're not experiencing it are they!!

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I think that many people tend to forget that (we) are in many respects ingesting a chemical, or chemicals every time we take a tablet. The subject of dreams was covered back a week or so ago. Most of us were not exactly having nightmares but neither were the dreams pleasant. My own analysis (for what it is worth), was broken down by mentioning that certain cheeses/brandy would give me horrendous nightmares! The point being is that you should imo bin them straight away, by saying to yourself it is a chemical/ingredient induced dream that has no physical or mental agenda as such. In other words you are not going loopy or showing signs of a psychological/mental problem.

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John6 -- I feel like framing your last sentence and hanging it near my desk as an encouraging reminder! Your reasoning makes good sense, to be sure. The people in this forum are a big blessing -- thank you!

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