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AF and viral infections

Johnno333 profile image


I am currently not a well baby. I have caught a viral infection which has turned into a rather nasty cold. Doc unable to give me any tabs because of meds I am currently on so taking paracetamol to help things on.

I went into AF on Friday morning about 1:30 am so I took my emergency dose of Bisop 5mg but was rather concerned that it wasn’t that long since I took my evening dose 2.5 Bisop so I cuould possibly have 7.5 wizzing around me. However, by the morning my rate was reduced but still in AF. Later on during the afternoon I noticed that I had gone back into NSR, yay!

This morning, Saturday I awoke still feeling rough from my cold but noticed that my heart would stop and then go again I guess missing a beat. It would go for five beats and miss then say 12beats and miss but when I got up it was fine. Has this been experienced by other afibbers and what is it?

Thanks for any help. 👍

7 Replies

I think what you are experiencing are ectopic beats. I have never had this/these myself but I understand they are not a cause for concern - even if disconcerting to say the least!

There might be a connection between your cold and AF so do take care of yourself, though all that can be done for the common cold is take paracetamol, drink plenty of fluids (I like hot lemon and a little honey) and keep warm.

Hope you feel better soon.

Johnno333 profile image
Johnno333 in reply to CaroleF


Horrible brutes, ectopics, Johnno but they can be lessened - even stopped with slow, belly breathing. Relax and breathe in slowly to a count of 5 or 6 using your belly muscles, not your shoulders. Exhale more slowly and repeat for at least 5 minutes - 10 is better. I find it helps concentration to count as I breathe.

I also started taking a small dose of magnesium citrate daily and I think it has dulled the ectopics somewhat.

For your virus, drink plenty of warm fluids, rest up - bed, book and bottle (hot water variety, that is) ☹️ and let the paracetamol do its work.

Johnno333 profile image
Johnno333 in reply to Finvola


Yes according to my EP this a very common reaction that I also suffer from. The virus causes the heart to swell which opens some electrical pathways and closes others, hence both the AF and missing beats. It fixes itself totally once the virus is gone but it takes quite a while for the heart to fully recover, long after the viral symptoms have gone, so don't worry if the problem remains after you feel better.

I use verapamil to accelerate the getting back into AF, but that is something you would need to discuss with your EP as it's quite a convoluted and potentially risky process.

Johnno333 profile image
Johnno333 in reply to Mike11

Thanks for your message.

By accelerating going into NSR what is the duration for going back? I usually take a higher dose of Bisop for at least two days.

I've found that no dosage of my beta-blocker will put me back into NSR so I have to come off it altogether, wait 24 hours then take small quantities of verapamil whilst measuring BP and pulse regularly to avoid them going too low until I build up to the full dosage. After about three days I revert to NSR and then can go back to nebivolol.

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