What do you take for anxiety and does Metro... - AF Association

AF Association

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What do you take for anxiety and does Metropolol help?


My recent run of short but frequent afib and SVT episodes, and not knowing when they will hit, has started to make me feel anxious at times. I'm sure part of it is the uncertainty of how it will play out since it's so new. That and perhaps not fully accepting that things have changed.

Every few days I might take 2.5mg of Valium (Diazepam) which seems to help but probably not the drug of choice long term. Wondering what people here take for anxiety and do they do it like me as a pill in pocket or do they take something on a regular basis?

I've also read that Metropolol is used off label for anxiety. I was thinking here I might kill two birds with one stone because it's one of the drugs my EP was considering if my episodes don't die down. Have any of you noticed a decrease in anxiety when you started Metropolol? Anyone take Metropolol as a pill in pocket or just on a daily basis? Intellectually I understand that afib is not life threatening, very manageable and that people can live full normal lives with it. That said, these episodes are fairly new , came sort of out of the blue in an erratic pattern, so life as normal is easier said than done but working on it.

I exercise as much as I am able and have tried various relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and mindful meditation (not to mention Netflix :) ) but so far not completely doing the trick.

Concern is not only feeling anxious but that anxiety could be an afib trigger. Bad cycle.


12 Replies

See Vonnieruth’s post of yesterday and my and others reply.

You may also find this link of notes I gave to Exeter support group in Jan 2018 also helpful.


You may also search Anxiety to see previous posts.

AF and anxiety are travelling companions and learning coping mechanisms is really the essence of livening with AF.

Look also for a small book on Healing Your Vagal Nerve - available on kindle.

mjames1 in reply to CDreamer

CDreamer, Thank you for your reply. Could you please link me or give me the title to the post by Vonnieruth's you are referring to, can't seem to find it.

The Exeter support group notes are very good but that's really not what I am asking about.

Yes, I have practiced mindfulness and pretty much everything else mentioned, but anxiety still remains. Mindfulness is a very popular approach lately, but there are reports that it doesn't work for everyone, and in fact in some cases can cause increased anxiety. Not saying this is the case with me, but something for folks to be aware of, because one shoe does not fit all be it afib or dealing with anxiety.

So while I'm certainly open to non pharmacological solutions, my post was really about what medications people here have taken for anxiety and in particular if Metropolol has helped them in that regard.

I will check out the book you mentioned.


Vonnieruth in reply to mjames1

Hi James did you find my linl


For future reference - if you want to find a members’ post - click on their profile picture and a list of every post will appear.

As regards taking drugs for anxiety - never - the affects are horrendous for me but I do know that some have posted they had some relief with drugs.

If Mindfulness doesn’t work and you worry then I would suggest learning CBT techniques.

The only thread I could find for Metropolol is - healthunlocked.com/afassoci...

Metoprolol did not help with my anxiety. I take it everyday. Time and learning to deal with AF has decrease my anxiety level. Thanks to all the recommendations from this forum. I do have Ativan as a PIP but have never taken it. Just knowing it is there if I need it has helped. So continue what you are doing and hopefully your anxiety level will decrease.

Thanks 12cupcakes. Ativan and Valium are I believe in the same class of drugs and mostly recommended just for short term use because they can become addictive. I'm also using Valium as a PIP but am using it sparingly in low doses. I think the newness an uncertainty plays a role with my anxiety so hopefully some time will help. The last couple of days getting short inappropriate sinus tachycadia (IST) episodes in the 110-130 range. Woke up with on yesterday morning. Not sure if these are anxiety related or just another arrhythmia along with my SVT and afib episodes. Most are only 10-20 minutes. Starting to wonder if I've had these for some time or just starting to pick them up now because I'm monitoring my pulse more closely.


I had tabs prescribed for anxiety but haven't taken them The side effects on info sheet were terrible I had a very bad reaction to one tablet many years ago which resulted me in not working for several years Lost my self confidence and friends I came back extra strong went out and got a job Worked my way up to senior in dementia all for this to hit me in the face Feel like I'm back to square one again but I won't take tablets for anxiety

I am doing silver cloud on line through my gp

To clarify, I'm not advocating meds for anxiety, nor am I currently taking anything other than a very low dose of valium a handful of times. That said, the anxiety/afib connection (both ways) is well documented and spoken about, so I'm a bit surprised more members aren't using some pharmacological assistance (SSRI's for example) to treat their anxiety or depression, both conditions which are quite common in the community at large but even more so in the afib community. Yoga, mindful mediation, etc, are great, but the question everyone has to ask themselves is it working enough? Could additional pharmacological steps help their afib outcomes? Not too many studies on this but a few that suggest it might. I tried SSRI's years back and they didn't particularly agree with me, so probably would not go back.


Lorazepam a/k/a Ativan (a relative of valium) is great for the anxiety that comes with AF episode. My prescription is .5 -- very small dose, but it works.

Thanks dj, have you tried valium and if so, how would you compare the two? How many times a day do you take the .5mg or do you find just taking one pill works?

I was diagnosed with afib about 2 months ago. Went into ER at 160 bpm. Was getting ready to have a cataract worked on and it triggered the AFib. After the normal plumber cardiologist checks I ended up with an EP. Older Indian gentleman. We talked about stress and anxiety. In my job I worked on equipment that machined aircraft engines parts. Very high stress. After retiring I realized how much. Anyway I was put on metoprolol 25 mg twice a day and cardizem as well. Released from the hospital still in AFib but was under 100 bpm. Cardioversion got me back in nsr but afibbed again in a couple weeks. Changed to flecanaide 100 mg twice a day. Converted to nsr via flecanaide in three days and have been for a week. Had a stress test today. 65 raise an acre of garden and maybe 20 lbs overweight. No medical issues until this. The EP and I discussed stress and he recommended metoprolol for blocking the adrenaline. The downside is dreams. Of course the flec isn't helping in the dream situation but seems to work well for my situation. I'll see him in a week and go from there. I've never taken anxiety meds or any meds for that matter so the others may work better. I'm also on 20 mg Xarelto.

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