To ablate or not!: I have been troubled with... - AF Association

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To ablate or not!


I have been troubled with AF for many years and had one cardioversion. I was put on amiodarone which was reduced to nothing after a couple of months. During November to February I had an episode of AF each month, longest was 10 days, shortest 2 days. During each episode I took amiodarone and then stopped when I went back into NSR. However after the last one I have kept taking it once a day and have remained in NSR since February.

After the last episode I made an appointment to see a Cardiologist with a view to ablation (by EP) and the appointment is coming up at the end of April.

My question is, do I need to see the Cardiologist and have an ablation, because, just maybe, by taking this drug it could keep me free from AF.

15 Replies

Hi Jacky,

It might be wise to get an estimate of how likely ablation would work before making a decision.

Also it may relate to your age in that Amiodarone is a very strong med. which has side effects as well as working well in your case at present. Your cardiologist and EP should be able to let you know what the chances of success are in your particular case.

If you are considering ablation I would suggest you see an EP - Electrophysiologist - a specialist cardiologist who deals with arrythmias.

Amiodarone is not a drug to take long term, it’s a toxic drug which can affect your thyroid.

A lot depends on how much better you feel when in NSR. Whilst nobody should rush into having an ablation, it would make sense to discuss your condition with an expert so that you can then weigh up all the options before making a decision. You should also ask the consultant what the long term effect might be if you continue to take amiodarone for the rest of your brief answer to your question is YES, and please let us know how you get on

Thank you all for your comments. I will go for the appointment, armed and ready with the questions.

I was on Amioderone for 8months, all docs were not happy about me wanting to change it, but change it I did, with the help of emergency docs who replaced it with Metoprolol a very mild drug with very little side effects, I continued on this drug for around 6months, and then eventually had an ablation, I was not going to return to Amiodarone .

After 4 years of different drugs and lifestyle changes, fortunately not one peep after the ablation. I can understand you trying to put off the ablation it took me a good 4 years before I succumbed as it was pretty horrible to tolerate in the end, (3 types of Arrhthmia together). Good luck with your decision whatever it is.

JackyMac in reply to ultramarine

Many thanks ultramarine.

cuore in reply to ultramarine

" All docs" except emergency docs were not happy to change Amioderone after 8 months? What was their reason (s), who were they, and how was your thyroid after this period?

ultramarine in reply to cuore

My local Regional Cardiologist mainly but he was talking to my Electrophysiologist at times in the City. No reason was given except that it was working; I sought a 2nd opinion, who stressed my reluctance to keep on taking this drug.

My thyroid was checked throughout and although it wasn't in normal range (that is from before) no tablets were given, they didn't know or check that the seaweed (iodine) I was taking prior to this could have effected the thyroid, but I just stopped taking this myself, I gave them both a written list of foods/herbs which I had also added or stopped.

I spent a good number of times in Emergency (usually just for a few hours), so they treated me with respect of the knowledge which I had gained, and was willing to experiment with and went along with what I thought could now work.

Hello JackyMac,

I had an Ablation in 2015 but continued to need the support of Amiodarone until February of this year.

I hate to tempt fate but, so far, so good!

A part from an irritating cough when on the higher dose of Amiodarone I appear to have tolerated the drug well.

Good luck with your choices but for me my Cardiologist and EP are the best tools in my cardiac toolbox.


JackyMac in reply to PhyllisK

Thanks PhyllisK, I must say, I have been impressed with Amiodarone and it was good to hear somebody in support of it. I will be guided by the professionals when I have my appointment.

cuore in reply to PhyllisK

Wow! Were you on daily Amiodarone for over two years and nothing happened to your thyroid?

PhyllisK in reply to cuore

I had my Ablation November 2015 and after the 3/6 month post operative healing process my pulse continued to be irregular. It was recommended that I have a cardioversion and, to commence Amiodarone until the appointment was confirmed.

My pulse settled immediately thus no need for a cardioversion.

My six monthly blood tests remain normal.

I was advised to discontinue Amiodarone February 2018 and did so abruptly with good effect.

There are people on this forum who have taken Amiodarone for long periods of time with no adverse effects.

Best wishes on your AF journey.


Best Wishes. Don’t forget to keep a sense of humour it’s half the battle.

Hi Jackymac . I would talk to your cardiologist about what he advises and then ask as many questions as I could think of ,like success rate of the ablation . If you search this forum you will see some people have had more than one ablation ,in other words ,sometimes it takes more than just one . Wish you well.

If you search Amiodarone you will find that it is not intended to be a long term drug ,at least that is what I found out .This drug like most has many side effects .I was on the drug for a month and my doctor said it was not working on my A-fib and took me off of it. He now has me on Atorvastatin for cholesterol, this is another bad boy drug which I am getting off of soon . I'm going to tell him put me on something else and he will . The Atorvastatin is making my legs hurt .My wife is also on it and it's making her sugar count go sky high and I told her to stop taking it and call her doctor. She has stopped taking it and side effects went away ,started taking it again side effects came back .

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