Lupus and rapid heart rate

Hello, I've been living with Lupus for 28 yrs. I've experienced so many different things with this disease but rapid heart rate is driving bonkers! It's happening several times a day and I literally feel like I'm having a nervous breakdown. It can wake me out of a deep sleep and run anywhere between 120-140. Heart checks out ok. Dr. thinks it's Lupus related. Anyone out there experiencing the same severe symptoms?

9 Replies

  • What meds are you on? Some drugs affect the way the heart works and rapid heart beats aren't uncommon. Steroids cause these for me and more recently I've increased my mycophenolate only to get arterial vasospasm, which is not pleasant and can be fatal.

    This is the problem with this dreadful disease, the meds given to alleviate its symptoms, cause serious side effects. What are we to do but adjust the medication all the time and hope it doesn't kill us!

  • I'm taking plaquenil and was on methotrexate but the dr. stopped that and we 're waiting on labs to start Imuron? This has been going on for 3 or 4 months. I've been treated for pericarditis with steroid taper since this all started but the rapid heart rate and chest pain continues.

  • Hmm, how long have you had the pericarditis? It takes about 8-10 months to recover from a bout of pericarditis, even after the ultrasound/echo shows no scaring. You might still have fluid around the heart and an MRI can indicate exactly how much there is (echo or CT are not that effective). The fluid remaining can cause the rapid heart beats and the chest pains, even when the fluid is in small quantities.

    It took me about a year to recover from pericarditis and during that time I couldnt breathe very well, I was fatigued and had the same symptoms as you. It goes away eventually.

  • Thanks for your response. It's only been a few months since the pericarditis. So, hopefully all the symptoms I'm having will gradually diminish as time passes. Thanks, again.

  • I have rapid heart rate as well. It hasn't woke me from a sleep yet but it is annoying. My rheumatologist did a Echo and it came back fine so he sent me to cardio. Cardio said he doesn't see anything wrong with my heart and that's it's "probably just the lupus". I didn't feel real comfortable with that answer. And for me it's not the drugs. I wasn't on anything yet. I just started Plaquenil yesterday. Let me know if you get another explanation

  • Thanks for responding. If I find out more from the dr., I'll definitely let you know.

  • Hi Bttrfly68 I do suffer with rapid heart rate too but never over 110. I gave up alcohol because it made it much worse if I had even half a glass of wine and so has helped, it has never woken me up but I do get it during the day. I have MCTD/Lupus Myositis etc. hope you find help soon! So sorry to hear, very uncomfortable, take care

  • Thanks for sharing and the well wishes. Take care.

  • just a thought i too have this and it has been put down to hormonal changes ...i have chronic pericarditis and have been told i have a small amount of fluid permanently around the heart

    best wishes folks

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