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(37 Posts)
Whiff Sun 29-Aug-21 08:52:18

I was diagnosed with AF yesterday and put on beta blockers and blood thinners. Being referred to the AF clinic.

Is there anybody with AF and do you have any does and don'ts for me also what tests can I expect at the clinic.

I knew something was wrong with my heart. Just glad to have a diagnosis. I am not worried about it . I am 63.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Megs36 Sun 29-Aug-21 10:18:10

I too was diagnosed with this about 3 years ago, usual tests ECG etc and beta blockers, then nothing since. At the time my other half was in hospital with chest drain and following problems then came Covid so I guess I slipped through the net although I still get the pills and would be scared to stop taking them. I am 84 so you are sspring chicken 😊😊😊 Don’t worry

AcornFairy Sun 29-Aug-21 10:24:39

What is AF please? It sounds as if it has something to do with the heart, so I would be very interested to know ....

Grandma70s Sun 29-Aug-21 10:28:53

Atrial Fibrillation. I have it, and I don’t notice it at all.

AcornFairy Sun 29-Aug-21 11:06:07

Thank you Grandma70s.

Whiff - Having a diagnosis can be a great comfort in itself. Once we know what we are up against we are more able to deal with what is going on. I wish you well.

merlotgran Sun 29-Aug-21 11:20:41

I’m 74 and was diagnosed in May. I take Bisoprol and a blood thinner. I was having symptoms for months but just put it down to anxiety. I feel so much better now I’m on medication.

Greenfinch Sun 29-Aug-21 11:53:59

I was diagnosed 5 years ago and it took a while to settle down until they got the medication right.I was taken off bisoprolol (sp?)because it reduced my heart rate too much and am now on flecainide and warfarin which seem to suit. I think AF is quite a common problem.

LtEve Sun 29-Aug-21 12:22:39

My DH has it. He was diagnosed at 55 and is on bisoprolol and apixoban. He initially had cardioversion which stopped it for a while but it came back as was expected. It doesn’t seem to cause him any problems at all.
He used to be a very good long distance runner for many years and AF is apparently quite common in endurance athletes later in life.

Pammie1 Sun 29-Aug-21 12:37:50

My DH has it. He takes warfarin and beta blockers every day. Blood tests every couple of weeks to make sure his warfarin is doing it’s job. As long as he takes his meds as directed, it doesn’t really cause him a problem. I think anything to do with heart is scary when it’s first diagnosed but it’s better to know what you’re up against so you can deal with it more effectively.

You’ll need to make sure that you’re well informed as to the different blood thinners available. DH takes warfarin for which he has to have regular blood tests to make sure his levels are regulated. He also has to watch his diet to a certain extent as foods high in vitamin K can affect how warfarin works. He was offered one of the newer blood thinners - Apixaban - mainly because there are no regular blood tests needed and no adverse reactions from food. He decided to stick with warfarin, because in the event of a bleed, a measured dose of vitamin K is an antidote. There is no antidote with the newer medications and this was the deciding factor for him.

welbeck Sun 29-Aug-21 13:01:22

someone i know of developed AF after a near fatal episode of sepsis.
she had an echocardiogram and other tests, and saw a nurse specialist in haemophilia centre. they deal with more than that, but that's what it's called, somewhat alarmingly.
anyway the nurse there was very helpful and he explained that it would be wise for her to take rivaroxaban, so as to head off risk of stroke or heart attack.
she also takes something for high blood pressure, and many other medications as she has multiple morbidities and is mostly bed-bound.
she has been told to avoid stress, and when her family are lambasting her, as they often do, i've told her to say that medical advice is she must avoid stress, and just end the call.

Jane43 Sun 29-Aug-21 13:20:59

My DH started having episodes of an extremely rapid heart rate two years ago and they became more frequent so he is now on Beta Blockers and Rivaroxaban and has had no episodes of the rapid heart rate which frightened us both very much when it happened. His GP gave him the choice of Warfarin or Rivaroxaban so he chose the latter because he had heard adverse things about Warfarin. His podiatrist recently told him to be aware that there is no antidote for Rivaroxaban so he is always careful not to cut himself.

welbeck Sun 29-Aug-21 13:24:33

yes, that;s a point.
people who take this kind of medication are meant to carry a card or something to warn any medics, in case they have a funny turn when out.
same as for steroids.
also need to inform all HCPs, including dentist.

welbeck Sun 29-Aug-21 13:27:08

the person i know can never remember what it's called, so most HCPs assume it's warfarin that she takes.
to help her i tell her, it's not the river thames, it's rivaroxaban.
she only has to mention some river, and they know.

Oopsadaisy1 Sun 29-Aug-21 13:29:22

SIL has it, she was only diagnosed in January. She thought that her symptoms were stress and is in her mid seventies, she feels better after taking the meds, but it’s taking her a long time to get her confidence back, she’s afraid that she will have a ‘turn’ whilst she is out, as her DH isn’t able to drive any longer they spend a lot of time at home pottering in the garden.
I’m sure she will get better, but her next appointment isn’t until December, they say they want to make sure the pills are working. So almost a year between appointments.

Whiff Sun 29-Aug-21 15:46:25

Thank you all for your replies and reassurance. I have been having problems for some time but everytime I had an ECG it was normal same with 24 hr heart tape. Yesterday morning it was so bad that when they did the ECG my heart beat was 198. It was such a relief to know there was something wrong.

I am on Apixaban 5mg twice a day and Bisoprolol 2.5mg once a day. I feel happier now I am on the tablets.

I don't make a worry about things because worrying doesn't make any difference.

I rested yesterday but did hour and half in the garden this morning. I go to an exercise class for active aging on a Wednesday afternoon. Plus have lost 7st over 4 years and have only stone and half to go if it takes me another year so be it. I want to get to 11st.

Thank you all again. 🤗

dragonfly46 Sun 29-Aug-21 15:58:28

I was diagnosed with AF a few weeks ago when I was particularly stressed. I am on beta blockers and anticoagulants. I have an echocardiagram booked for next month.

Whiff Sun 29-Aug-21 20:33:19

Had a call today from the AF nurse have an appointment to see him on Thursday morning. The Dr at the hospital only sent the referral yesterday while I was still there. That's what I call excellent health care.

Dragonfly I have had an echo which was followed up by a bubble echo. It found out last year I was born with a heart defect. I am 63 . I had to laugh I have had 5 general anaesthesia. The last operation lasted over 4 hours and needed 4 bags of blood all with a dodgy heart.

Sarnia Mon 30-Aug-21 09:39:46

I was diagnosed over 30 years ago with Paroxysmal AF and over those years I have seen many different cardiologists, all with their own favourite drugs, so I have had a cocktail of them over the years. My advice to you would be this. At your first AF appointment have a list of questions and concerns written down to ask the medic. No question is stupid if it is a worry. You may have a 24 or 48 hour tape fitted that would give the doctors a good overall view of how your heart is behaving, especially during sleep. An ECG is routinely done at the clinic I attend, so expect for that to be done. Don't be afraid to say if any beta blockers make you feel unwell or you are experiencing unusual symptoms. There is a multitude of medication out there for heart conditions, so the likelihood of being prescribed the right one for you at the start of your AF journey is slim. There are 2 excellent forums called Health Unlocked and Arrhythmia Alliance where fellow sufferers have some very good advice. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a cardiologist from York has a lot of short videos on You Tube covering all aspects of heart problems. I strongly recommend these for his common sense attitude to what can be a scary complaint. The British Heart Foundation have a very good magazine available to you, as well. As a fellow sufferer I wish you well.

Whiff Mon 30-Aug-21 10:59:30

Sarnia thank you for your advice. Already got my list written. So far the tablets I am on are giving me no side effects.

I had a 24hr tape a month ago it showed nothing because I didn't have the same symptoms. The nurse I am seeing told me I would have an ECG.

Thank you for the forum names I will look at them. British heart Foundation is where I found there is a link to heart failure and kidney infections. Which I have been having recurring ones since September. Had 16 courses of antibiotics. But touch wood haven't had one since May. But my urine output is lower than normal. That's one of my questions. My ankles and lower legs have been swelling within hours of getting up for the last 2 weeks.

Thank you for your good wishes.

Luckygirl Mon 30-Aug-21 11:10:28

I too have PAF (paroxysmal AF) and have done for many years. Mine started after hip replacement surgery.

I take riveroxaban and propranalol, which is not the most effective cardiac beta blocker, but bisoprolol makes me very depressed.

I asked whether I could stop the riveroxaban as the AF happens so rarely, but was told that this increases the risk of stroke when it does happen so that it was even more important that I should continue taking it.

My current drug regime seems to keep it under control thankfully.

When I do have a bout of AF it is often possible to abort it by various tricks:
- cough deeply and into the chest.
- splash cold water into the face
- perform the actions that you would do if you were delivering a 20 pound baby or a large constipated stool!

All these act on the vagus nerve; I have successfully aborted attacks by these means.

I have a wrist band that indicates that I am on riveroxaban, the blood thinner.

From my experience medics look at both the rate and the rhythm - if the rhythm is amiss they do not seem to worry too much; but if the rate (speed) is also high then they ask to see you.

It barely impinges on my life at all OP so I am sure all will be well with you.

dragonfly46 Mon 30-Aug-21 11:15:09

LuckygirlI couldn't get on with Bisoprolol so I am now on Solalol. The only drawback is that I have to cut the tiny tablets in half and take one in the morning and one in the evening.

elasticatedslacks Tue 31-Aug-21 17:01:20

I have paroxysmal AF - mine was so bad I was almost unable to breathe - I certainly noticed it! It came with a desperate desire to poo (explosive) and wee. I was immediately into panic mode and felt the end was nigh - from a usual very low pulse rate in the mid 50s I ricocheted up to 140 and above. It didn't help knowing there is an increased risk of stroke if you suffer from AF. I had a very successful ablation in 2012 under anaesthetic but still take apixaban blood thinners twice a day, rosuvastatin,(cholesterol) and irbesartan (for blood pressure control). Apixaban doesnt require any constant checking as does warfarin. I am now on 'Pill in the pocket' which means taking a flecanaide as and when - these give me cracking headaches so luckily not generally necessary. I did very unusually have an AF episode at the beginning of the month as was under a lot of stress at that time - always adult children related! I can literally feel the stress coursing up through my body like a cartoon character! I was prescribed beta blockers by my original cardiologist which did not agree with me at all - I slowed down to a virtual stop as my pulse rate already pretty low.

SpringyChicken Tue 31-Aug-21 17:12:26

My husband has it too but it's controlled with blood pressure tablets and blood thinner. He used to take warfarin but it's a nuisance having the frequent blood tests and varied doses. He persuaded the doctor to let him switch to apixaban when we were going on holiday and he wouldn't be able to have a blood test whilst away. Luckily, the doctor let him stay on apixaban. It's so much easier than taking warfarin.

Whiff Wed 01-Sep-21 08:45:49

Interesting reading all your posts. Had to stop beta blockers my heart beat went to low ,gave me diarrhoea and my lower legs and ankle swollen. Spoke to my GP yesterday afternoon not happy with blood test results. Wants to see me this morning. Says I need Cardio as well as AF clinics. Know more when I have seen him.

Whiff Fri 03-Sep-21 08:55:45

Went to the AF clinic yesterday. AF nurse was wonderful. I have Paroxysmal Atrial fibrillation. Because the beta blockers lower my heart down to much. Told to stop taking Amlodipine as that could be causing my lower legs to swell. On Apixaban for life. And been put on Dronedarone to help with my heart rhythm. Answered all my questions. Had ECG and listen to my heart. Told what to do next time I have an episode and only need to go too the hospital if I feel unwell. Back at clinic next week for blood tests and ECG.

Reading all your info and speaking to the nurse had put my mind at rest. And know I can live the life I want. It's just another blip in the road of life.

Thank you all for your replies 💐💐💐