Patient Comments: Atrial Fibrillation - Effective Treatments


What kinds of treatments have been effective for your atrial fibrillation? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Poppit, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: January 29

My husband has permanent atrial fibrillation for twenty years. He was given digoxin together with atenolol and all doctors say they shouldn't be taken together. Wondering if anyone else takes the same medications together.

Comment from: Nick, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: November 25

I have suffered from atrial fibrillation (A Fib) for 55 years, and I am aged 82. Drugs taken are Inderal, Valium, digoxin, amiodarone (terrible) and others, but more recently sotalol maximum dose of 160 mg twice daily. I have had several cardioversions, but now too old for more, so now facing permanent A Fib. I am unsuitable for pacemaker or ablation due to age. My attacks are triggered by vomiting or reflux. Message to those recently experiencing A Fib is, it won't kill you if you are sensible, get used to it and live a long time.

Comment from: ct916, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 02

I've been dealing with atrial fibrillation for about 3 years now. My father and grandmother also have the same issue. I take diltiazem extended release once a day and metoprolol 25 mg twice a day. I've been doing some research and I have been taking a magnesium, potassium, and taurine supplement along with a daily vitamin. I have pretty good success with it. Only on occasion do I get an occasional flutter if I get dehydrated or overdo it at the gym. Hope this helps someone.

Comment from: flutemon, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 30

I began having atrial fibrillation on and off in the late 1990s. The doctor prescribed atenolol which controlled it well. In 2010, the atrial fibrillation came back and I visited another cardiologist, where I was diagnosed with tricuspid valve issues. Leading up to valve repair surgery it was decided that it was a congenital defect linked to Ebstein’s anomaly. While the valve was being worked on, I had the Maze Procedure. Other than having a somewhat faster heart rate (80-90s) the atrial fibrillation has been gone since surgery in early 2011.

Comment from: messerchristie, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: July 17

My dad, 83, has had atrial fibrillation for 20 years. He is on Coumadin and metoprolol. He had several occurrences in a row last year and had a pacemaker put in. His atrial fibrillation is not better and he is exhausted all the time. It's frustrating for him because he has always been very active. He is used to riding a bike every day (20 plus miles), lifting weights, etc. The extreme fatigue is new. He just saw a second cardiologist who told him that an ablation would not work for him. He is a retired physician and feels 'badly' for getting more opinions. My mom has dementia and I care for her full time. It has been very hard on dad. His outlet was exercise. I believe that his tiredness is due to depression, but he refuses to consider that; it would be an admission of weakness for him. Meanwhile I'm manic depressive and he doesn't view it as a weakness in my case.

Comment from: shadow, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 12

I'd had severe symptoms for months and told no one. I kept wondering what was wrong until one night my daughter was over and I went out. Of course I was rushed to the hospital, barely in time. I have atrial fibrillation. I have been rushed to hospital 2 more times since then. I have what I call my pacemaker. I still have symptoms every day, but have learned what's happening. It took me weeks to get a handle on it. I am on medicines for the rest of my life.

Comment from: Jo, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 26

I developed atrial fibrillation in November of 2005. I had three ablations. It lasted about nine to 10 months for each. I was on amiodarone for almost three years, but the side effects were bad. I have been on Cardizem LA (300 mg) now. I am also on metoprolol (75 mg) and have no energy and no breath. I have been told my mitral valve is leaking, but I have not received the results of tests that were taken here in town or in Chicago. It is most frustrating because I cannot walk across the house without panting. My heart hurts, and I am really depressed.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

I wore the kings heart monitor. At the beginning my blood pressure was 150 and pulse 166, then another reading was 168 and pulse 150. The heart monitor people called an ambulance. Results: Fluttering; sinus rhythm; tachycardia; PVC; atrial fibrillation and heart out of rhythm. The heart doctor put me on Diltiazem 180mg twice a day; Coumadin 5mg every other day and 2.5 the other days; amiodarone 200mg a day. The last AF, I got very week and felt like fainting, so that's when he upped my medicine. I was getting very sick at my stomach with the amiodarone so now I only take a half. Now my feet and ankles are swelling and has been for awhile; my heart doctor didn't seem concerned, but I am very concerned. I will call. I have read that Diltiazem can cause legs to swell. If I still have AFib in 6 months, my doctor wants to do the TEE and I’m a little concerned about that. I had rheumatic fever as a child and prolapse mitral valve.


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Comment from: YamaBlonde, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

My 1st AF episode was, just prior to an upcoming (very) stressful event. I had only a few episodes over several years, at one point more than 2 years between episodes. Then I had 5, longer-lasting episodes within 7 weeks. I was a wreck, mostly from fear. I had an aortic valve replacement in January, hoping it would stop the AF (doctors told me it was unrelated), which it was not. I was, at one point however, without any AF for 10 months, so docs took me off warfarin. An AF episode happened 3 months after discontinuing blood thinners, and back on warfarin. I am now taking a beta blocker. With more frequent AF now (only 1 week between some episodes), my beta blocker has been doubled. I am terrified of ablation, but I guess that will be the next option. I was taking amiodarone for 7 months, prior to the valve replacement, but doctors say it isn't a long term solution.

Comment from: Jim, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 24

I have been recently diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. I have had bouts with it before on two separate occasions within the last 10 years. Anyhow, I had to have a stent put in; my one artery was 100% blocked. I feel pretty good except on occasion my heart rate will speed up for no apparent reason. When this happens, I feel a little light-headed and sick to my stomach. It has no certain pattern. It can go on and off all day or not happen at all for three to four days. I am currently on Plavix, Lopressor, Zocor, and aspirin and temporarily on prednisone. I don't know whether these symptoms are coming from the medicines or from my heart. My doctor says my heart is in great shape. I wore a holster for the weekend, and it showed an increase in heart rate, a few extra beats, but no signs of true atrial fibrillation.

Comment from: 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: March 24

My atrial fibrillation medication is Betapace. When I was taking 80 mg of this medication twice a day, my heart rate was too slow, around 45 beats per minute. They did a cardio version and changed my medication to 40 mg, twice a day. At first, the heart rate was fine, around 60 beats per minute. After three months, it started to increase to 70 beats per minute, and now it is around 85 beats per minute. I asked if they could split the dosage to 60 mg, twice a day. They said that that dosage was not available. Now they are considering ablation.

Comment from: Jo, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 14

My dad was currently diagnosed w/ atrial fib a month ago. They did several tests to confirm it. They did echo, cardiac stress test, dobutamine stress test, x-ray, and EKG. My dad is currently taking Coumadin/Warfarin, Digoxin, Cozaar, and Metoprolol. With Coumadin/Warfarin, the pharmacist or your doctor must play around w/ the dosage. It's a very tricky medicine. It requires that you have no more than a level 2-3 of Coumadin in your body. If you have more than level 3, like my dad did, you will have constant stomach cramps and diarrhea that lasted more than 3 days and no diarrhea medicine can stop it. If you are on Coumadin, be ready to take blood test every week for the first month until they find out the perfect intake dosage of warfarin for your body. Afterward, it became easier. Just be patient with your doctor/pharmacist when it comes to finding the right dosage for your body. Now, the doc is thinking of doing cardioversion on his heart and increasing the # of time he has to take cozaar. The doc felt that by increasing the # of cozaar intake, it will help ease my dad's heart muscle from having to work so hard and at the same controlling his high blood pressure. I checked w/ 2 of my relatives who happenned to be a doctor and an RN and they confirmed it that the procedures are necessary. If you are not sure of the procedures or the medicines or even your symptoms, go for a 2nd or even 3rd opinion. Go to the internet and do your own research. But most importantly, find that right doctor for you.

Comment from: Betty Boop, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 06

I recently had Atrial Fibrillation and ended up in the hospital. Mine was caused by hyperthyroidism. My thyroid is normal again, and the shortness of breath is gone. My blood pressure is normal now, and I have not been in A Fib since. I feel like a new person, however my doctor is insisting that I stay on 2 blood thinners a day and two medications for heart rhythm, but I don't understand why, since mine was caused by my thyroid!!??

Comment from: tired mom, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 26

I've been dealing with atrial fibrillation for around four years. I had a near fainting incident last year and took many different tests. Because my atrial fibrillation is so unpredictable, it's never caught on any of the tests. So now I have a loop recorder implanted in my chest in hopes of seeing a pattern, or at least if it's getting worst.

Comment from: JOE, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 20

I have been fighting atrial fibrillation for eight years. I'm on Coumadin. It has been a losing battle for me, and the last few years have been especially disappointing. It started when I was 38 years old. I work in a tire manufacturing plant, and some days it’s all I can do to just show up. However, I don't give up. You have to keep going and not let it get you depressed. I don't know what I plan to do next. I’ve just about decided to live with atrial fibrillation the best that I can.


Atrial fibrillation is a(n) ... See Answer
Comment from: Eva, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: September 02

I take Sotolol, which keeps my heart rate steady. I have not been given Sotolol AF. I don't know if that would be better for me. Sometimes, about every three or four months, I have an attack of fibrillation.

Comment from: Jean, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 02

I didn't know I had atrial fibrillation until I had a heart scan. My doctor is really good and has me on Coumadin. I take 5 mg on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 7.5 mg the other four days. I've had a procedure called an ablation and a cardio version. The ablation didn't work but so far (two weeks), the cardio version has my heart in normal rhythm. I'm also taking 80 mg of Sotalol and 180 mg of Diltiazem. My doctor sent me to a cardiologist who did the procedures and gave me this medicine. I've also got a thyroid that hasn't worked for years, so I take 175 mcg Levothyroxine for that. I hate these heart medications and just want off of them, but I don't want to have a stroke either.

Comment from: Koko, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 02

I take 4 mg of Warfarin (coumadin) a day. I also take 300 mg of Diltiazem CD a day for my atrial fibrillation.

Published: June 19

I have always taken Inderal but when they changed my meds to Tenormin it made me feel horrible and it made my heart beat faster, so they put me back on Inderal, and raised the dose so now I live a normal life I take 40mg 3x a day, but it works.

Published: May 23

Beta blockers, atenolol (Tenormin) plus solalol (Betapace) worked well, but made me sick as a dog, so now just the atenolol and it works ok, but get too much arthritis complaints. Arthritis seemed to be well controlled when off both of them, but then the atrial fibrillation comes back and my blood pressure goes up, so I go back to atenelol. I have ecstasies on the coronaries as etiology, though vessels are otherwise uninvolved. I am planning to ask my doctor if any other beta-blockers might be tried. The muscle and arthritis complaints are some ways worse than the heart problems.

Comment from: dnln, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 08

I had open heart surgery last September and was doing great until November when AF started. I had a bad bout when I was out of town that wouldn't go away. I went to the heart hospital and they shocked me out of the AF. The doctor put me on amiodarone. When I got back home my regular doctor took me off Amio and put me on Tikosyn. I did great till May then AF started again and they performed an ablation. So far so good. One day at a time.

Comment from: u4linda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 17

I have had 3 episodes of AF in 5 months. If I feel an episode coming on, I take a quarter tablet (metoprolol) and sit quietly for half an hour. A doctor in emergency told me to do this. Please check with your doctor first.

Comment from: Dimrilldell, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 14

I was taking Amiodarone, together with Digoxin and low dose aspirin, for about 3 years to control occasional episodes of atrial fibrillation. The episodes were incapacitating. Amiodarone side effects became so severe that my doctor just now prescribed Veramil ER instead. I am wondering if it will lower my normal blood pressure of 110/60 too much. I need to ask the doctor if I should continue taking digoxin. I am also wondering if Betapace/Sotalol would be more appropriate than Verapamil.

Comment from: All Heart, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 15

My husband has been diagnosed with AF. He has taken a boat load full of medications. Digoxin, Diltiazem, Coumadin and Micardis 80mg most of which he has been unable to continue for some reason or another. He has been in the hospital 3 times in 2 years because of the AF. His doctors have switched him so often to different medications he just would rather quit taking anything. We are trying to find a new doctor that might help.

Comment from: buguy5940, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 15

I had ablation performed June and have not had an atrial fibrillation incident since. My only medication is mild diuretic for blood pressure reduction. I am much more active now. They did the "grill mark" method because of the number of sites where fibrillation was found. I have had no complications. I was 59 at the time of the procedure.


Atrial Fibrillation: Heart Symptoms, Diagnosis, & AFib Treatment See Slideshow
Published: July 28

I am taking Coumadin 5mg per day. For about 3 years. My hands look bruised the tops of them are blue all the time. I would like to switch to taking Stem enhance & Stem flow. Each have anticoagulant properties.