British Heart Foundation
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Verapamil causing chest pain?

Hi,

Finally saw cardiology on Thursday after issues with symptomatic bradycardia whilst taking bisoprolol for SVT. I’d been on it for 8 years with no issues at all beyond a bit of OH and a ridiculously low waking bp, but last June I had the first of a few funny turns that dose reduction didn’t solve. Seven day halter in December didn’t pick up anything of particular note (beyond sudden variations in HR), ecg on the day was fine, but they can’t explain why I’m suddenly having problems after so long. They’re having me back for review in a few months and want to do an echo in the next few weeks, but my bp registered as high in clinic (which has never been an issue for me ever, even stressed out of my tiny brain) so they’ve put me on Verapamil. Overall, I do feel a lot better and my HR is a lot more ‘normal’ and stable after 3 days than it’s been in months, but where I’ve had an occasional achey sensation in my chest that normally coincides with palpitations/funny turns, I’ve noticed yesterday and today a definite pain in the same area. Sort of stabby, quite sharp, but only lasts a minute or two before passing and doesn’t prevent me from functioning. Could this be a side effect of the verapamil? Anyone else had the same taking it?

TIA,

Charlie

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Hi Charlie

I was on verapamil for about a year it took a while for me to settle down with it but eventually I did six to eight weeks if I remember correctly. But saying that I started slowly noticing a pain under my left rib cage and it turned into a regular ache. Finally I was put on nebivolol and that’s a little better no side pain still stv but not to bad at the moment, so I guess it was the verapamil giving me a pain in the left side just under the rib. I hope I can help you in some way good luck

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I know this is two months old now, but I just wanted to reply to say that your reply helped and the pain has settled somewhat with time - still getting it, but nowhere near as frequently or as intensely as I was at the start of treatment. No change in the frequency of bounding palpitations that I’ve been having for the last 12 months, but the fact that I haven’t had any need to check in weeks shows my HR is definitely a lot more stable and consistent, no more bradycardia (that I’m aware of!), so over all it’s a tolerable drug for me and doing what I need it to. Will mention it when I go back to cardiology in a few months just for safety’s sake, and I’ve got my echo on the 8th just to be sure there’s nothing else going on in the background, but the situation has definitely improved with Verapamil.

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Hi Charlie

Glad you are getting used to Verapamil. My advice is find out what is adding to your symptoms. I mean eating chocolate etc, drinking such as wine beer these can add to palpitations. Now my last thing to pass on is take your verapamil at a time that suits you either early or late because if you take them and sleep next morning your less likely to have side effects. It’s having a regular amount in your system that’s counts.

Good luck 😁

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Thanks, Donkster!

I’ve been almost entirely caffeine/ginger/white choc/dark choc and cough mixture free since the first episode of SVT in 2009. Well, the cough mixture was a later exclusion after I took Covonia once and suffered through 6 hours at 160 as a result, but you know what I mean. I tolerate the thumping that comes with the occasional couple of beers - got to let my hair down occasionally! 😁 I will pay more attention though to what if anything I’ve been eating and drinking prior to the palpitations and see if there are any diet related conclusions I’ve not noticed. Got to be worth a try.

Thanks again!

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I’m off to Papworth soon for my ablation been waiting 7 months fed up with it but soldiering on. Do you have any stomach uncomfortable feelings. Nearly ended up in AE last night but saw it out in the end 😖

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Can’t say that I do as a result of my heart, but I have reflux anyway, so there’s always a degree of weirdness/discomfort going on stomach-wise - I wouldn’t necessarily know if that was tied to something other than the overactive acid tbh.

Is the ablation for SVT or AF? I’ve been lucky in only having 2 major episodes requiring intervention in 9 years. Plenty of more minor ones, plus all the horrible weirdness of the last 12 months, but they’ve never found a root cause for my SVT. I never ever had palpitations at all until after my first episode, and now they’re just a daily way of life, but I’m still not entirely convinced that something isn’t being missed given what’s been happening. I’ve told my sister to put the Spike Milligan quote as my epitaph if I do keel over one day - I told them I was sick! 😂

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Hi

I do know the the SVT that I have isn’t been put right with tablets so I’m having an ablation after years of suffering. I asked because the heart condition can upset the vagus nerve which starts off acid reflux etc ... under the rib cage aches etc

Like you drink starts of the beats and it’s worth it at the time , but later on no 😂 to be honest I’m not looking forward to having it done 🚽 myself but if I get sorted happy days the reason they don’t do ablations easy is money 🙊

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Suddenly, the fact that I developed reflux 6 months after I got diagnosed with SVT makes a whole lot of possible sense 😮. I was very overweight at the time (5ft 8 and almost 19 Stone) so the docs told me it was directly because of that. I now weigh 12st 4, with a bmi of 26, yet still suffer horrendously with reflux, pain beneath my ribs and acid indigestion without daily proton pump inhibitors. I’m fairly medically minded and have the unfortunate necessity to research a variety of things for both me and my life-limited daughter at frequent intervals, but not once did it cross my mind the 2 could possibly be related...

Fingers crossed the ablation does the job - I may still have some issues on medication, but on the whole it keeps the major horrors sufficiently at bay. Being scared is both normal and somewhat sensible imo, but if it ultimately makes things better, it’s got to be worth trying. Really hopes it works out - keep me posted?

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Will keep you posted oh if you get the doctor to prescribe Gaviscon Advance and take it after a beer the beats completely stop 🤙 you try it let me know I think you can buy it over the counter but ADVANCE do settle for original text soon me 5 ‘11 and 18 stone at 59 years young. I will keep you informed about my progress may be if some help later 👀

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