Ectopic beats, very frequent. - Arrhythmia Alliance

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Ectopic beats, very frequent.

30 Replies

I have been getting these for a couple of years, and they have been becoming worse all the time. I now have them for about 18 hours a day

I had a 24 hour heart monitor, and ecg, and after this, I was put on beta blockers, lowest dose 1, 25 mg per day.

They did very little, so now I am up to 5 a day sometimes and still the condition has deteriorated

My GP has prescribed 5 mg a day, I do not think this will be enough. Does anybody else have this problem?

I get chest pains and feel poorly and faint when they are at their worst.

I understand they are not harmful. But they are really affecting my quality of life. I am even woken at night by this.

I do have other conditions that cause me pain and discomfort, and have to take medication for these.

Thank you,


30 Replies
darmog profile image

As you have got worse and it is so troublesome you may be getting mre than ectopics such as Atrial Fibrillation in spells (happennd to me - not for a while now but I continue on Warfarin) 24 hr monitoring will not always pick up spells of AF - Suggest you ask GP to repeat ECG when you are having a bad day. Symptoms may warrant review by Cardiologist

in reply to darmog

Thank you Darmog,

I have told my GP, he does not seem concerned, I will continue on the new medication for a while, and if things continue to get worse, I will go back.

It has been such a rapid deterioration, they only started to really bother me in October last year, and just continues to worsen, even my GP was surprised at the frequency.


hairyfairy profile image

Iv`e had this problem since I was a teenager, & a few years back they became more frequent so I had tests. I was told that I have 1st degree heart block, which scared the life out of me, but I was told that it`s a benign condition & needs no treatment, so I try to ignore the ectopic beats.

Sha-ami profile image
Sha-ami in reply to hairyfairy

Hi are still having it?

Hi hairy fairy,

I wish I could ignore them, but I find it difficult, if it was just the beats, I could cope with it, but they are painful, and make me feel faint,

I am glad that you had a good result at least, thanks for your reply,


Morrisminorman profile image
Morrisminorman in reply to

Hi Cazbaz

You have my sympathy. I too have been a sufferer for some time. It easy for people to dismiss these episodes out of hand as 'harmless', but those who do not suffer from them do not realise just how much they affect your quality of life.

I would encourage you to persist with your doctor and see if you can get referred to a cardiologist for an exercise test (ECG monitored treadmill), just to rule out any underlying condition. There are a few self-help techniques that I employ which has helped me manage my condition. I have given up caffeine (and yes, I'm afraid that does include chocolate). Caffeine is a stimulant and will exacerbate the condition. Gentle regular exercise is good, but nothing too energetic that is likely to aggravate the condition. Some people find that the episodes are linked with GERD (gastro oesophageal reflux disorder), which can aggravate Vegas nerve which can affect the heart rythm. I do suffer from this and sometimes find that the ectopic beats occur after eating. I find that eating less, but more frequently helps.

Sadly anxiety does contribute to this condition. As the condition does, by its nature, make you anxious, it is a vicious circle. Try not to worry about it (easily said I know). If you can break the cycle it will help.

I do still have to take one beta blocker a day, but with the above measures, I have managed to reduce my symptoms from being almost constant to just a few 'flutters' a day.

I am obviously not a medical professional and you should consult your GP if you have any concerns. I do find it helpful however to know that other people understand my experiences, and I have offered up the few tips of things that worked for me. I hope that this is of some help to you. Hang in there!

gaza profile image
gaza in reply to Morrisminorman


can you give me any more advise how to stop or elivate this problem

gaza profile image
gaza in reply to Morrisminorman

hi Morrisminorman

glad to read your story it has put my mind at ease i have had this problem for some year now backwards and forwards to the doctor who always said i am suffering with anixity wish he had a few palpitations he would to went to the hospital this time and they picked up a few mis beats and said they would put me on a 24 hour monitoring machine soon waiting for appointment any other sujestions before i go bak to hospital

Thank you, it is a relief to talk to people who understand, I have had to take 8 mg of beta blockers today, and have felt so poorly, I have had dizziness and chest pains, I am going to talk to my pharmacist, as I think my medicines may be making them worse,

Take care, and thanks for the tips!


Maitha profile image
Maitha in reply to

Dear cazbaz

I'm suffering for years from those irregular missing beats and I agree with what Morris said

Since it is increasing and medication is not helping you need more investigations and monitoring by a cardiologist

I'm not a doctor but based on my personal condition you may have on and off AF which have the same symptoms and hard to catch by ECG

Things make it worse : dehydration , stress , heavy meals , late meals , lack of sleeping or changing daily sleeping routine , headache , pain , infection , flue , discussion and talking fast , hormones

Doctor prescribed for me recently flecainide for my AF which solved the issue of those ectopic beats , I don't feel them these days at all

But I had other side effects unfortunately

You can't ignore them , since they are in our hearts and no one can do that

Avoid triggers as far as you can

Hope you will get better soon


in reply to Maitha

Since my last reply to you, I have seen a different doctor, who is very unhappy with the fact that even 20mg a day is not stopping the ectopic beats, and has decided to try to find out what is going on.

Thank you for replying to me, it has helped enormously!


Sha-ami profile image
Sha-ami in reply to

I am having this problem about 5 months

Michelle122610 profile image
Michelle122610 in reply to Maitha

Hi Maitha ,

I too have now been prescribed Flecainide 50mg a week ago and I just wondered what mg you’re on and how long to it took to work .

I’m having constant ectopic beats it’s completely ruining my quality of life .

I also have SVT .

Thank you Michelle

Funkygirli profile image
Funkygirli in reply to Michelle122610

Hi Michelle, I also started taking Fecainide 5 days ago (50mg BID) for my AF, and it seems to increase my ectopic beats. I was having them frequently over a month ago as I was still getting used to the betablockers, especially after meals, but they were almost gone since then... but now starting up again since the Flecainide!!!

Michelle122610 profile image
Michelle122610 in reply to Funkygirli

Hi ,

My doctor put Flecainide up to 100mg a day . It helps at times with the flutters at night like you not with ectopics . There driving me mad so distressing.

Hope you feel better soon .

Funkygirli profile image
Funkygirli in reply to Michelle122610

But did you already have the ectopics before the Flecainide? I hardly had any the last 6-7 weeks until I started the Flecainide last Tuesday....

Michelle122610 profile image
Michelle122610 in reply to Funkygirli

Yeah I did have ectopics before I took Flecainide, it hasn’t really made them any better nor worse but I upped the dose it helped with the flutters . I have found that since taking it iv had a bad tummy . Must be a side affect.

Maybe trying upping them , I think it takes a while got your body to ajust .

I’m having to come off them as I’m have a monitor fitting for 7 days on Monday . Boy I’m going through hell only been taking them for 2 weeks and coming off them is awful so many ectopics 6 a min lots of fast rhythms .

I got three small children , worrying times .

Funkygirli profile image
Funkygirli in reply to Michelle122610

Oh boy, I sure feel for you.... I am lucky that my daughter is already older and not as demanding as a small child.... I hope they are able to find a solution for you soon!!!

Thank you, I do agree, I have now gone to 15mg of beta blockers, instead of 5, so I think you are are right. I will try to talk to the GP again, no too hopeful, but you never know.


sam1971 profile image

Would highly recommend finding a good chinese herbalist as will.def u xx i took herbs for years & were amazingly effective

Thank you Sam, I have to have a scan at the heart hospital in London, as my cardiologist is not happy with my ecg, and the angiagram has shown an enlargement of the heart chamber.

Will keep you posted,


porsche profile image

Hi Caz

I have had ectopic beats for 7yrs now, started off with just a few but ablation wasnt an option so they were left as thought harmless. last year i was diagnosed dilated cardiomyopathy. My ectopic beats have been the subject of many discussions but while in hospital this week i saw a different cardiologist who recommends i try Amiodarone as i am only having 1 in 4 good beats. im on day 3 of it & hoping for the good results the dr has said is possible. Hope you get your appointment soon & they have some answers for you.

Hi cazbaz

I had AF, but that seems to have gone (for now?) after ablation years ago, but I've just had a year of what I think are ectopics. Very hard to get to the bottom of it, but all professionals who have caught it in the act called it ectopics, loads and loads of them. When bad, you could not ignore them. My pulse was almost impossible to take, just felt a faint pulse with a strong beat every now and again.

My EP has put me on Disopyramide and they have completely gone since I started on the drug a few months ago. And I had a good, regular pulse. Get occasional blips, but we all do anyhow.

I think the drug was withdrawn because of some problems but has been re-introduced. The other thing that has helped me no end before finding Disopyramide, was to take an anti-anxiety pill (even though I didn't feel anxious and I'm not and anxious person. I thought the GP was off his rocker when he told me to take one when it was bad, but low and behold it worked. Can't take them often because they're addictive, but I only take one rarely even prior to Disopyramide. Something to do with "fight or flight" kicking in without me even knowing (my theory).

Don't know whether that's any use?



Mallid01 profile image

I have had an angiogram this week as I get chest pains and tightening of the chest plus palpitations. I even get woken in night with this. My beats per minute average about 55 when busy but drop to as low as 40 depending on what I'm doing. The specialist said I have Atrial Ectopic Beats which are very frequent but his letter says my PR interval levels are on high side of normal, can anyone explain this please. I can't have beta blockers because of this apparently to help.

Deb X

jtmiller profile image

I agree with darmog 100%+ sounds exactly like you are converting into AFib. You really should see a cardiologist/EP who will figure it out. You will most likely need to a wear a moniter for several days to catch everything the GP can't in a 15 min office visit with a few second ekg. I know from experience as I started with irritating and sometimes painful palpitations which GP said was "no worry" and "just try to ignore them". I have now ended up with AFib w /1 ablation 4 months ago which looks like it didn't take. Electrical problems can ruin your life for people like us who can feel every missed beat and pain. Your symptoms sound just like me, please keep us informed and best of luck!

ayseb profile image

Hi, My condition is new, so I dont know that much. But mine started just like yours for several years and increasing this year and finally having a bit shortness of breath. Then when I finally had the echo stress test, it set out a whole new phase that ended up with chest pressure so drs. did a cath.

Anyway, my point is, since then (last 2-3 weeks) I had 3 separate diagnosis: Beta blockers first (helped but also progressed slowly), then Prinzmetal Angina diagnosis (since I was having the palpitations every time I lied down), and finally the diagnosis is 2 different types of rythm problems (suprev. and ventric and some SVTs) and they gave me a 3rd class of medicine (rythmonorm).

So please get checked in with EKG, Echo etc. and seeing an arrhythmia dr. One does not really help in the wrong condition.


Sha-ami profile image
Sha-ami in reply to ayseb

Hi am having ectopic heartbeat for t months..

Prashant223 profile image

Hey its caused even because of anxiety did you try seeing a psychiatrist???cause in my case the missed beats is because of anxiety.

Summerhayes profile image

When I was 35 I stopped taking my combined birth control (yasmin) as I was scared of getting cancer or blood clots. Four months later I was getting frequent ectopics that were so bad that I couldnt sleep and I thought I was dying. Long story short I started taking the mini pill (much safer, progesterone only, less chance of blood clots) as I believed the cause was low progesterone (which causes low potassium in the blood and ectopics) ectopic heartbeats are common during pregnancy and the menopause and changes in hormones. After I started the mini pill I felt better instantly my anxiety got better and I started sleeping better. Now I dont feel my ectopics AT ALL im 100% better. I still get them occasionally but I cant really feel them. My doctor was useless and never suggested this, they won't tell you this. He did 24 hr monitor, blood test and echo, wasted 6 months worrying and I ended up curing myself.

nazragon profile image

I developed a strange, irregular heartbeat 3 months after taking my high blood pressure medication, Propranolol... 10mg, are beta blockers known to cause these? before taking any medication i have never experienced anything like that before.... scary, feels like my heart is flipping around in my chest like a fish at times..

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