Solotol: My cardiologist wants me to change... - AF Association

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Solotol

Gertsen
Gertsen
65 Replies

My cardiologist wants me to change from bisoprolol to solotol. Any of you have any comments. Also wants to put me on statins anyone on statins!

Thanks

65 Replies
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BobD
BobDVolunteer

Sotalol is seldom used here in UK for a variety of reasons but some EPs do still prescribe it. Doctors love statins because they come under their QOF targets and help them increase their pay. I was on statins for many years but took myself off them about a two years ago due to the side effects.

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Gertsen
Gertsen
in reply to BobD

Thank you, my husband also took himself of them so I am a bit vary.

Hate all these pills.

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Gwersey

I was on Sotalol for about 3 months and felt terrible every single day of those 3 months. I begged to be allowed to go back on Bisoprolol. To me, Sotalol is evil!

Just my experience, everyone is different.

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Gertsen
Gertsen
in reply to Gwersey

I will give them s go and cross fingers

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oyster

First off they work in different ways in AF, though both are beta blockers. Bisoprolol is for rate control to slow down the heart rate during an episode. Sotalol is for rhythm control to prevent episodes of AF.

Bisoprolol can have unpleasant side effects common to all beta blockers, even at low dosage. Sotalol has these also but also potentially much more serious side effects, and at one time it was standard to start it in hospital.

I have experience of both. I took Sotalol without side effects for 8 years up until my second ablation. I took Bisoprolol for 8 weeks and felt all the usual side effects but now feel better on Nebivolol.

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Gertsen
Gertsen
in reply to oyster

Thanks

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pottypete1

I’m with Gwersey on this one.

I was prescribed Sotolol many many years ago when I was first diagnosed with AF. I had bad side effects. They changed me to Flecainide and Bisoprolol together.

I took Bisoprolol for many years but was taken off it a couple of years ago as I was getting Bradycardia and had bad conductivity problems.

I now just take Flecainide and Warfarin.

Pete

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Gertsen

Thanks I cannot take flecanide hence the switch.

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john6

As ever the medications we receive agree with some and do not with others, overall they are safe with built in warnings ie your leaflet. Read the leaflet if only to know what MIGHT be a side effect - forewarned is fore-armed.

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cycleman73
cycleman73
in reply to john6

forewarned is fore-armed ! he he. Sorry matey.

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john6
john6
in reply to cycleman73

Ha ha.......I corrected it once, it still came up wrong. Anyway, corrected now - [again]😀.

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Gertsen

Thanks

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Hidden
Hidden

Here in the US statins are one of the top money-making drugs and they aren't cheap. I personally have refused to take them and early on it was a fight.. I'm not convinced we can't lower cholesterol to similar numbers with food instead of statins with their attendant side effects. I lowered mine several years ago by losing weight and changing to a more plant-based diet.

Many people here take them as prevention because good marketing has sold us a bill of goods that we need them.

Several years ago the ranges for normal cholesterol numbers was revised to lower numbers with the result that more prescriptions were written and revenue greatly increased. The research to support this was looked at sceptically by many healthcare providers who don't buy into the need to prescribe statins unless really needed and diet changes haven't worked or been followed.

But, imo, we are a greedy country and money is money.

Just my opinion. irina

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Gertsen
Gertsen
in reply to Hidden

The funny thing is that my cholesterol is not high. But I had a CT scan which showed my arteries are calcified. 🤔

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Hidden
Hidden
in reply to Gertsen

May I suggest you do some reading on cholesterol and what causes it? Often calcium is steered into body areas like arteries and soft tissue. where it can cause problems.

We have enough calcium but it 'moves to the wrong neighborhoods.'

Vit D with the help of K2-MK7 ( not to be confused with K1) is like a GPS system for calcium-helping it to get to bones and teeth where it belongs and not to our arteries where it can form plaque. irina

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Gillybean123

Hi me again, I do think it is a searching game to find out which tablet suits a particular person. I have been on loads of different tablets and been stable for 18 months. Touch wood. They all have side affects but some are worse on some people and not others. I blame flecanide for my headaches but someone said on here last week that it could be bisoprolol giving me them. But my heart is behaving itself. Just done a three mile walk with my dogs. I feel fine.😉

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Auriculaire
Auriculaire
in reply to Gertsen

Then statins could make this worse. I believe there is some recent Japanese research showing this but I can't remember where I came across it.

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oyster

Some cardiologists now believe that lipid numbers are irrelevant. They recommend statins as anti-inflammatory agents for anyone with evidence of vascular disease.

I have been on statins for 20 years without any problems. The cardiologist said a low saturated fat diet was unnecessary. He said that heart attacks in people with normal lipids were not unusual.

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reinaway
reinaway
in reply to oyster

I agree with this and read in a medical report that the original idea of statins was a very low dose (10mg) per day was recommended to reduce general inflammation in the body

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oyster
oyster
in reply to reinaway

Yes I understand that it is not unusual for patients with TIA/stroke from carotid artery stenosis to start a statin with the usual aspirin and/or clopidogrel.

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Gertsen
Gertsen
in reply to oyster

I have had neither

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sleeksheep
sleeksheep
in reply to reinaway

I was taking 2.5mg of Atorvastatin ( Lipitor ) calf pain was the original reason for lowering the dose but after stopping it totally its not hard to lower your Trig numbers with Omega oils , LDL can be more diet related. Overall my cholesterol is very stable .

Statins reduce insulin release from your pancreas and can also destroy muscle mass, so if your pre diabetic and on the thinner side think hard before taking them.

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reinaway
reinaway
in reply to sleeksheep

I decided against taking them altogether after reading the pros and cons.

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sleeksheep
sleeksheep
in reply to reinaway

I just wish the Drs prescribing these 15 years ago had the knowledge that present day informed Drs do. The same practice that put me on statins now is less concerned with Cholesterol than the LDL number.

I have had to take very large doses of C0Q10 to get my metabolism back to where it should be before statins interfered.

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reinaway
reinaway
in reply to sleeksheep

Oh that is bad luck! I worry for my husband who took statins first of all 5 years ago when they were so heavily promoted and now has type two diabetes. Despite me saying he is taking one tablet that affects the production of insulin and one that promotes it he knows best! 😉

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sleeksheep
sleeksheep
in reply to reinaway

I managed to drop from 8.4 to 5.9 in under 90 days AFTER stopping atorvastatin and using supplements after my Dr told me I had slipped from pre diabetic into diabetes 2 back in November. Statins have a place in medicine but there pro's have to outweigh there cons by a large margin. With me it was the exact opposite.

I think knowledge is power and a tool to be used to manage your health .

Finding the right knowledge that works is the problem.

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SpritzerAce

I was changed from Bisoprolol and Flec to Sotalol as both Biso and Flec did not control my AF. Sotalol is both an AAD and rate control medicine. I have been on Sotalol for 3 over months and so far so good. But as in every meds there are bound to have unpleasant side effects. Sotalol could cause prolonged QT and TdP. However if you are on Sotalol and are closely monitored by your EP on your QT I think it should be OK. Hope this med will work well to control your condition. All the best.

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Gertsen
Gertsen
in reply to SpritzerAce

Thank you. That is good to know.

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Aus19

Hi Gertsen, SpritzerAce explains this well in the post above mine. I'm in Australia where Sotalol seems to be prescribed more readily. I was prescribed it for a few months - I commenced it without going into hospital (which sometimes happens in the US, apparently). It was the first drug that I was prescribed for my AF. I'm 51 and have a structurally sound heart (touch wood), so I'm low risk for prolonged QT. I had no bad side effects from the Sotalol. Recently, my cardiologist has discontinued it in favour of flecainide; that's because he felt the flecainide might work better to suppress my AF. If you can handle the Sotalol with no side effects, then it might be worth a try - probably depends on your age and other aspects of your health. My pharmacist pointed out that Sotalol shouldn't be taken with milk. That doesn't mean you can't drink milk at all - just don't wash the tablet down with milk. That warning also appears on the pharmaceutical warning label mandated by the Australian government regulator. So just bear that in mind. Good luck with it. Honestly, I didn't feel too bad on it. But I was only on it for a few months. Peace.

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SpritzerAce
SpritzerAce
in reply to Aus19

Hi there ! Interesting fact you mentioned about Sotalol and milk. Why is that so? I know we can’t take Dronedarone (Multaq) with grape fruit. There is no such warning from my pharmacist or the box. Will look it up but appreciate if you could let us know here 😀 Thanks.

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sleeksheep

Milk reduces absorption .

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WowWow

I've been on Sotalol for over 20 years. I've had no side affects whatsoever. I was stared on them in hospital, dose was increased gradually. I take 3/4 if a tablet morning and evening.

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myrnalynn52

I had a cardioversion on Jan 21,I was taken off Metropolol and switched to Sotolol that night. I was scared to take it cause, of issues I had heard about it.I thought my metropolol was working ok. I started it that night and so far have had no issues and I started at home not in hospital, I also feel better in SR,I am also taking Digoxin since my Afib started last sept but I am told will be taking me off next dr Appt . They are also switching my warfarin to Eloquis. My cholesterol is normal. I agree with you though I also hate pills and all the change this brings. I am grateful that it is something treatable , Very well could be much worse .

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Aus19

Hey there again, Gertsen and SpritzerAce. I don't know why the pharmacy advice (at least in Australia) is not to take Sotalol with milk. I'm guessing that milk might somehow affect how it is metabolized (in the short term, presumably). It's not that you have to give up milk (in the way that you have to give up grapefruit for some meds). You're just not meant to take Sotalol with milk. I just checked my "Consumer Medicine Information" leaflet and that's precisely what it says. Ah, the mysteries of AF! By the way: most Australians think you English people are weird eating grapefruit for breakfast. Just saying! Happy rhythms, everyone!

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SpritzerAce
SpritzerAce
in reply to Aus19

Thank you.

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Edm174

Hi Gertsen I took sotalol before my cardioversion I felt better on that then i did on bisoprosol !!! But cv failed abd back on bisoprosol !

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Arveno

My 78 years husband is on Sotalol Mylan for last 3 years. Started at hospital at 80 mg 2x day, morning and evening. Without any other side effects as beeing very tired . About 1,5 year ago we decreased to 40 mg morning and evening. He feels well, less tired, nearly as his usual energetic personality. We are VERY carefull with Sotalol, taking it only on empty stomack exactly at given times (keep the same blood level) at 6.00 oclock morning, breakfast earliest att 7.00. Than at afternoon at 18.00 oclock, (no food 2 hours before and dinner at least one hour after). Sotalol Mylan has to be taken on empty stomack in order not to decrease its absorption by mixing it with food. We learned that by hard way. There is one possible dangerous side effect of Sotalol and it is Torsade de pointes. Therefore your QT interval should be check at times. With wishes of success with your medications.

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reinaway
reinaway
in reply to Arveno

When I was on Sotalol it had been prescribed for me in a very cavalier manner by my GP. I ended up with increased AF episodes, feeling washed out, dreadful sleep.and an increased QT interval to my heart. The Cardiologist took me off it immediately and I don't know what sort of conversation he had with the GP!

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Pammie9

Hi

What is the reason your dr want you to change the medication?

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Gertsen
Gertsen
in reply to Pammie9

Getting AF too frequently and bisoprolol not very effective

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Pammie9
Pammie9
in reply to Gertsen

Good luck

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ILowe

Have your electrolytes + urea + creatinine checked every six months. These figures can wander around considerably. I was warned by a GP to make sure the Potassium level was monitored. Doctors will know how to interpret the trends, but you need to track them and raise the question. Then, never stop sotolol suddenly -- you have to be weened off it.

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Aqua_1

Sotalol made my symptoms worse. When I was first diagnosed my Cardiologist prescribed this drug and it was a nightmare. It didn't put a lid on AF episodes so he prescribed a higher dose which made matters worse. This is my personal experience however you may find that it works for you. Good luck.

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Bellaheart

I have been on sotalol for 15 years with no side affects. I am on 120mg twice a day, a high dose. Have only had bad af once in the past three years with the odd spell of a few moments here and there. Cardilogist says it is a safe medication and as I tolerate it well shouldn’t change.

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Bellaheart

I am in the UK

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Staffsgirl

The Great Cholesterol Myth by Dr Stephen Sinatra and Johnny Bowden is an interesting read re Cholesterol, statins, etc.

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quanglewangle

Hi

The above just shows how we are all different. After a few years with undiagnosed AF I was given Sotolol but it did not help and I was switched to Bisoprolol - but after some blackouts I was switched to Flecainide with even worse cardio syncope blackouts prompting an emergency hospitalization and a pacemaker - and back on Bisoprolol. Since then - no probs at all until last month when a TIA prompted a change from Aspirin to Edoxaban (and Omeprozole). That episode also prompted a change from Diclofenac for chronic inflammatory pain to Co-Codamol (useless) and now Meloxicam!!

Amazingly I feel absolutely normal but am currently excluding cows' milk (and its products) in an effort to see if the back joint and muscle aches can be managed without the NSAIDs. No-one has offered an explanation for this chronic inflammation but it has to be a symptom of some underlying imbalance....

N .B Ablation has never been mentioned so I cannot comment on that

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Hidden
Hidden
in reply to quanglewangle

Re your aches and pains. I have a-fib and had many severe aches and pains for years which was misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia. I didn't buy into this so refused fibromalgia meds.. This may seem unrelated but I do know as a-fib people we are not encouraged to take NSAIDS.

It was hard for me to give up my Aleve. But I also belong to the Thyroid UK forum here at Health Unlocked. One of the tests recommended as part of a good thyroid workup is testing our Vit D level. Vit D deficiency is quite common in the general population and equally quite ignored.

My test came back very low and out of range. This is a very common reason for muscle/joint aches and pains often diagnosed as something else-like fibromyalgia. After several weeks of high (prescription) Vit D doses my pains disappeared. As long as I stay on my daily maintenance dose they do not return.

Not related to this forum but something to think about. Hope this helps.

Take care. irina

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myrlyn

I just wanted to mention that 20 years ago I had to stop eating all foods with any dairy or derivatives.

Casein, whey, modified milk products are in most processed food one way or another.

I had high inflammation with extreme joint pain all over my body.

No doctor could figure out why and all they offered were pain meds.

I tried an elimination diet and when ALL dairy was omitted I was totally pain free.

Xrays show arthritis throughout my body now but I still have zero pain.

I was so thankful that I called it a miracle because I could live without pain once again.

Keep in mind that for you it could even be a different food but the elimination diet is worth trying.

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vanrick

I was taking sotalol for around 17yrs with no side effects. Or so I thought .i was also prescribed aspirin for the same period. Never had any problems in all that time. Then recently in the last year. I started with AF again, I live in the UK.I was very active played ice hockey for local team no issues' went to see a cardiologist who put me on verapamil. That didn't work for me.so through this wonderful site. I got them to put me on nebivolol.(which for some. seems to the bees knees)!They gave me awful headaches.so at present I've now been put on bisoprolol. a lot better but still not right. If this doesn't work.I'm going back on sotalol.so as people have said not for everyone. Worth a try. I believe the problems begin with higher dosage. I was only on the minimum 40mg.the 80s made me feel rough. But still better than some others I've taken. GOOD LUCK.

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Gillybean123

Hi there, I think most of us might be on Statins. Nothing to worry about there. I have been on bisoprolol for quite a long time with flecanide. I think I may have taken soliton in the early stages. Why is he changing them. Are you reasonably young or young at heart like me?

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Gertsen

Yes at heart lol otherwise I am almost 73. I walk a lot and am still working a bit, my own company so I can control it.

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Auriculaire

Before agreeng to take statns I would read some of the work of the statin sceptic doctors and scientists. This is available online and also there is a book by Duane Graveline a doctor and astronaut who was severely affected himself by statins and who sets out clearly how statins actually work and how this leads to the wide array of nasty side effects they can have. Personally I think they are poison and the statistically small beneficial effect they have in the reduction of cardiovascular disease can be much better obtained by lifestyle changes or more benign dietary supplements. It is now accepted that these benefits have nothing to do with cholesterol reduction but an anti inflammatory effect that was not known about when they first came on the market. Cholesterol reduction is undesirable for most people and actually leads to other diseases - without cholesterol we die.

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Hidden
Hidden
in reply to Auriculaire

My belief exactly.

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Rubymurray25

I have been on Sotalol for the past 3 years and it has been fine for me; Bisoprolol became ineffective after about 4 years. I had a few PAF episodes in a short period and was put on Flecainide as a PIP which I have used twice, first time it worked like a dream but the second time no joy and I had to have a cardio-version. It was discovered it was Sleep Apnea which was bringing on the PAF and since I have been on CPAP I have been fine ( touch wood ) . As someone above reiterated, we are all so different and would like to think in the main we are getting the right advice!

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Kahst3

I was on solatol for about 4 months after my cryoablation. The pharmacist told me that for 3 days you will feel terrible then after that it will be like an old hat. For me he was correct. I didn’t ha e any issues. Just my experience with it.

Kahst3

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Janith

I am in the US ... l take sotalol ... l haven’t had an episode of Afib in three years ... no meaningful side effects ... l take the lowest dosage. I also take a very low dosage statin. No side effects. I have dramatically changed my diet ... l may reduce even more, i.e., M.W.F. and none over the weekend.

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indy64

I'm in the US and Sotalol is used as an anti afib drug that must be first be administered in the hospital over the course of three days to find the right dose your body can handle. If your QTC goes over 500, you could experience disastrous, evenly life-threatening, side effects.

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Gertsen
Gertsen
in reply to indy64

What is QTC

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indy64
indy64
in reply to Gertsen

The QTc interval is a measurement made on an electrocardiogram used to assess some of the electrical properties of the heart. ... An abnormally long or abnormally short QT interval is associated with an increased risk of developing abnormal heart rhythms and sudden cardiac death — hence my disastrous side effect comment.

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Gertsen

Sorry M,W,F? And thanks for your positive response.

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fairfax56832

Pay attention to Sotalol side effects. Was on it for a long time and eventually I had almost every one.

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tashac206

Hi, I was put on Sotalol when I was first diagnosed with AF. It controlled my symptoms very well but it also made me very "foggy". I lost more than half of my vocabulary and was very sleepy all the time. I do react strongly to anything that is even mildly soporific though. I have found Bisoprolol worked best for me for many years.

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ultramarine

Hi Gertsen, The Medics need to trial different medications as we are all different but it does show how strong the medications are. I was put on Metoprolol, then Sotalol, then Amiodarone (worked but has hidden side effects) then back on Metoprolol which held for a while after changing my diet and exercises to help me overcome this terrible condition, it helped me enormously. I then had an ablation 4 years ago and am currently not on any medication. I had AF/SVT together and 4 veins ablated. Getting back to Sotalol this was the worst medication for me terrible side effects it almost mimicked the condition, now Cardiologists steer clear of this one I took charge of my own health at this stage with the help of this forum and my own research, ultimately this was very helpful in altering any Doctors opinions which I thought was detrimental for me.

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Needwood

Clearly we are all different but most of us hate taking pills because of side effects and unknown future problems.

I have had PAF for 10 years here in the UK and I am now 80. All that time I took 40 mg Sotolol daily and an extra 40mg when PAF occurred. Bouts lasted from a couple of hours to a few days at intervals which gradually decreased from 3 months to weekly in the end. PAF effects are common-breathlessness, weakness and strong palpitations - a lousy experience. Last year after a prolonged session of 2 weeks my doctor suspected I was in permanent AF. He phoned my specialist and they changed me onto daily 5mg Bisoprolol. Within two days I felt normal and although doc says I still have AF I can't tell I've got it. All the nasty PAF affects are gone, something of a miracle for me. I play tennis twice a week now. I still take the same other meds., 2mg Statin, 5mg Apixaban blood thinner twice daily, 6mg Perindopril blood pressure reduction. I'm lucky as I don't feel any side affects. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I remain feeling normal. I still have one glass of wine every other day but otherwise no alcohol and I eat a low

carb. diet. I have never been offered ablation or cardio aversion.

I hope you find a lasting solution to our horrible affliction.

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