Afib, Flecainide and Exercise: Last year I... - AF Association

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Afib, Flecainide and Exercise


Last year I was running really well at parkrun and could complete the course the 5k course in 32 minutes. Then I suffered Afib which lasted two months before returning to normal after Amiodarone. Since then on Flecainide and had two mini episodes 2 and 5 hours. Now I find its is taking me 5 minutes longer to do the same distance and I have to keep stopping as I feel I've given my all. A little rest/walk and I can start again.

At the age of 70 I believe my MaxVo2 should be 150 (220-70) but when I examine the data my watch has collected my MaxVo2 has gone to 175 at the times I have had to take a rest.

Should I be worried? I've stopped running now until I can get some answers. Thank you

8 Replies

AF should, if we are sensible. make us all take long hard looks at our lives and make beneficial changes to our life styles. Endurance style athletes always seem to have problems coming to terms with what AF does to them and do not always listen to what their bodies are telling them. Well done you for listening.

I have suffered AF for several years, a pacemaker, on Eliquis and aged 77 (if I was a horse I'd have been put down years ago). Earlier in life a serious athlete but over the years distances and times took a nose-dive. However, keep going. Think positive, count your blessings (cliches I know) Enjoy your running and remember you are doing what 1000s of the over weight and unfit cannot. Keep the faith.

Hi Jacky :-) I think sometimes there comes a point when we have to acknowledge our bodies cannot do the things they once did and we need to modify our activities a little ..

You say....

[quote = Last year I was running really well at parkrun and could complete the course the 5k course in 32 minutes. ....

....I've stopped running now until I can get some answers]

...Have you stopped running altogether, I would think a little more gentle running and not pushing your body too hard may be a good thing rather than stopping altogether.

As a matter of interest what is MaxVo2. I'm 74 didn't run but did Pilates and am now a bit scared to. I only have paroxysmal AF and as the episodes are rare I just take flecainide as a PIP and nothing else as the risk of stroke that they go on about is very low and I am otherwise fit and healthy- and drugs have always affected me badly!

in reply to SandiBee

Its the maximum air your lungs can accommodate. So from that point of view. its probably good. I take Flecainide 2 x 50mg daily and wonder if its having an impact. However if it is the impact is worth it....better than having AF!

in reply to JackyMac

I still don't quite understand the lung capacity measurement but does taking the flecainide twice daily stop you having any episodes? As mine are short and infrequent, I felt it was rather over the top to take the stuff all the time but if it prevents it than I just might reconsider!

Have you had a stress test since you have been on it? I failed one 7 months after taking the drug 50 mg twice daily with no apparent problems, although I do not excercise. I went into vtach, something I have never been aware of. They said caused by the drug and dc it due to being dangerous. After a year a different EP placed me back on it saying the vtach did not sustain and reverted back with me resting, I only got my heart rate to 120 which was not the goal. The new ep doubled the dose and I sweat profusely with even a few minutes of regular activity, I call it the sweat pill, but no persistent afib and DC cardioversions so here I am taking it awaiting a second ablation on Sept 25. I was cautioned about activity in my particular case, I had a cardiac arrest caused by a different drug, Tikosyn after two pills. Glad you are being careful until you know. Take care.

in reply to Spoiler

Thanks. Bit of a catch 22 situation. Take the Flecainide and stay reasonably AF free or don't take it knowing I'll get a couple of good runs before AF will raise its ugly head. I'll take the medicine. But I will ask for a stress test. Never had one.

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