Dilemma to take more tablets or not? - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Dilemma to take more tablets or not?

Hi all.... I recently had a CRT - D fitted after my HF of 22 years worsened to severe heart failure. Since the device I have felt so much better.... and have finally stopped worrying about my heart and started getting on with life. I am 10 weeks post op and my 8 week check went fine.

So my dilemma is this.... I am due to see my consultant on Monday. I currently take 10mg ramipril... and tyrosine tablets for my thyroid ( the thyroid issue is what triggered my heart condition ). Yes these ate the only tablets I take.... and I am feeling vs.

Pre my op the doctors said a number of times that once my device was fitted they would then want to put me on beta blockers to further protect my heart and spirolactone to stop water retention.

I don' want to now start taking lots of other tablets which have other side effects. The spirolacton made me very ill so I will refuse these. But also the beta blockers I believe make you tired can lead to depressive feelings.... and just seems like they give you lots of medication as a belt and braces approach.... which although may give extra heart protection... May also lessen quality of life. I am therefore thinking of refusing any further medication as life is a risk .....xand with my lovely device I feel that I am finally feeling great and 1 tablet a day.... also makes me feel psychologically good. I know they will try to persuade me to have a cocktail of tablets.... i just think as long as heart is responding well i should resist any firther tablets Thoughts?

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It's hard, isn't it? Even if you feel you're doing OK without beta blockers etc at the moment, a lot of the reason for prescribing them is longer term protection of your heart. For me that is a huge plus point, but I guess your situation is different because your child is already a grown-up. That said, you (and your son) have a lot of life left in you yet. But maybe you would rather live that time without side effects, especially if the CRT-D is working out so well. I guess I'm as undecided as you really! :)

I think I'd be asking them to explain exactly why they are wanting to put you on this medication - is it just a belt and braces approach/risk reduction or is it serving an actual purpose, is there some concrete benefit? Would there be an option to try the beta blockers and see how you feel on them? I don't take the maximum dose of beta blocker and now feel kind of OK with the doses I'm on, though often knackered, light-headed, depressed... Though not necessarily because of beta blockers, nobody really knows for sure. It would be interesting to see, when you've been feeling so good since getting the device fitted, whether a lowish dose of beta blockers did make you feel worse. At the very least, I think you should find out the pros and cons from the cardiologist's point of view before ruling more medicine out.

I take between 6 and 8 tablets a day and it does sometimes get me down, but I tend to organise them at the start of the week so I can chuck that day's cocktail down in one gulp and not think about it too much. I'm sure you could find a way to come to terms with the psychological side of extra tablets if you felt the benefits were worth it.

Good luck and let me know what you decide x


Hi there, have to agree with Laura, get them to explain why you need these and exactly how they will work for you. Like all medication they seem to take forever to get the desired effect and the dosage can and is changed. Having not really needed any sort of medication pre heart, I tend to ask far too much and too often for my GPs liking (probably) but I figure I need to as otherwise its ten minutes up, ushered out with a new lot of tablets. I hate to describe my visits to him as efficient, but it comes close, I have questions, I ask, I ask about my latest bloods or whatever, tell him how I feel and what the pills have done, he looks at an alternative, giving me the new side effects, and off I go with new pills or not.

For me the beta blocker is now the worst, tiredness leads to more dark thoughts and its a ever decreasing circle (that is today, tomorrow may be better). Dosage not changed but being monitored (means go back in a month/six weeks so due soon!)



Thanks Laura and Mark.... I will definitely take your advice and ask lots of questions. I will let you know how it goes.... although I think I would need some strong convincing.

On a positive note today was my birthday.... I put on my music .... and had a boogie in the kitchen. It' wonderful that I can dance again 😁😁😁 xx


Hi honey, its a pain getting these tablets right! l was on beta blockers but like Mark they were making my energy levels low which made me tired and depressed. When l saw a cardio Doctor l said l dont think l need to be on beta blockers because l have a pacemaker slowing down my heart. To my surprise he just said Ok stop them! l am much better without them and have no adverse affects but everyone is different! Happy Birthday for yesterday, did anyone buy you those orange speedos? Sue x

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Thanks Sue.... and yes goes to my point that BBs not always needed. I will chat through on Monday and let you know.

're orange Speedos yes I was dancing to my 60s music in the front room... with orange Speedos .... and a smile πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ neighbours all locked themselves indoors πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ xx

It' One way to get that peace and privacy I wanted. Lol

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I sympathize with your reluctance to take tablets - I found it quite upsetting initially to move from no tablets to what seemed lots for hypertension, including after my valve replacements. However, I got used to it quite quickly.

I would try to give the beta- blockers a go, though. My husband was diagnosed with very severe HF back in the 90s, when beta- blockers were just starting to be used for HF, and indeed was given a pacemaker specifically so he could start one (carvedilol). They represented a huge advance in treatment which really changed the survival curve for HF, so to us they are fantastic drugs that saved his life! HF is multi-factorial so it does need a cocktail of drugs and they all help in different ways - and they also all help to avoid HF symptoms which as I'm sure you know can be pretty unpleasant - but beta-blockers are really a fundamental drug for HF. CRT-D is fantastic too, but acts on a different aspect of failure: basically it deals with one of the consequences while the BBs treat the underlying sympathetic activation.

The thing about beta- blockers is to up the dose gradually - and not to assume every symptom is because of the BB: also to be patient and give them time to work and your body to get used to them.

I agree the weekly tablet sort, and then down-in-one is the way to go. I always felt I required a pint of water for every aspirin, but a handful of pills at once is surprisingly much easier.

All the best


Great news..... they decided I did not need beta blockers as my heart rate was low enough 😁 and they are going to hold off the other tablet until my next echo in 6 months time.... as they ate happy I am feeling so well.

Interesting feedback from the heart specialist.....

1 PMA - I was told will go a long way to keeping me healthy. The body reacts to negativity and positivity

2 moderate exercise and healthy eating will also help my heart to keep as healthy as it can. Can help stop deteriorisation.

3 Raw Honey - has apparently been proven to help the heart function better..... so I am now currently looking for nearest bee keeper.vhe did stress it can' be processed honey.... hence the bee keeper option.

Deliriously happy that is the first hospital visit which has been full of positives. Onwards and upwards 😁😁

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happy days heartlady really good news


Awesome news! I've been told about the positive mental attitude a few times, from various medical peeps. It's really interesting. There are quite a few inner-city bee keepers in Glasgow, might seek one out 🐝

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Very interesting Laura. I have since found a bee keeper ... called him.... only for him to say "karen... I would recognise your voice anywhere" " sorry I don' think i know you" I said. " yes you do, you came round my house about 8 years ago.. . And got very drunk!!" At the time he was my kitchen fitter lol. He is now a bee keeper... and I am going on Saturday for honey tasting πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. Small world!!!

Honey is fabulous for lots of things asthma, allergies... and now heart health!!! And that was a heart specialist that told me.... so honey is now on my shopping list 😁


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