My recent experience of drugs and their effects on my AF has left me wondering about the vagus nerve and its effects. Hitherto I have not thought that it was connected to my AF which seemed unconnected to anything other than stress.
My heart was damaged by radiotherapy to my shoulder 30 years ago. I have fibrosis in my left atrium. I had an ablation over 3 years ago and now have mild episodes of AF ( stopped by 100 flecainide pip ) maybe weekly.
Now I have developed spasticity in my left leg and hand which is diagnosed as demyelinating disease, possibly MS. ( MS is rare starting after 50 years of age & I'm 73 )
I was prescribed BACLOFEN. This is a muscle relaxant which works on the central nervous system. Maintenance dose is 6x10 mg daily. I worked up to 4x10 and had to cut back and then stop taking them as I was having daily episodes of AF. They did nothing to help my mobility either. The accompanying leaflet stated that 1 in 10 may have reduced heart function.
I was then prescribed GABAPENTIN. It is used to treat epilepsy and neuropathic pain. (I have no epilepy and no pain) I am to take 3x300 daily. The accompanying leaflet states that 1 in 100 may experience a racing heartbeat. In the 6 weeks since starting to take this I have had no AF whatsoever. It hasn't affected me in any other way except for one thing. I have put on 7lbs whilst eating carefully. I found this confusing then I received a copy of the Neurologist's letter sent to my GP. It stated GABAPENTIN CAN CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN.
I know that Gabapentin is used often by GPs for pain relief. Is my experience of it with regard to AF unusual? Is it calming my vagus nerve?