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Anti-Arrhythmic Drugs

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AmyJ Find out more about AmyJ
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  • Anti-Arrhythmic Drugs

    I got my 1st pacer in 1993 (20 yrs old). In 1997 I had an Alcohol Ablation that worked very well. I started having symtoms about 3 months ago and have been diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia due to HCM (IHSS). They gave me an ICD last week and put me on Toprol.

    I was reading some info I found at www.cardiomyopathy.org that said anti-arrhythmic drugs can be used when VT is detected. I plan on asking my Dr. about it next Thursday at my check-up. Any idea why he hasn't already started me on it? (I know you can't read his mind!!) Do they have alot of side effects?

    Thanks for any help!!
    <\'\'();:::::;~

  • #2
    I think you hit the nail on the head. Anti-arrythmic drugs are very strong, and potent. In addition to suppressing arrythmias, they can also cause them. Also, they can cause problems with other organs in your body.

    Your ICD is there to protect you from the worst case scenario which is sudden death. The beta blockers are to lessen the symptoms, but they won't save your life, the ICD will. ICDs have been proven to be the best protection. Anti-arrythmics aren't nearly as effective as the ICD, and since you have one of those, your Dr. probably thinks that he or she would rather give you a safe drug rather than one that might cause bad side effects. Also, they tend to have cumulative effects, and with your young age, you would probably rather stay on something more benign. Are you having bad symptoms from your VT? If not, I would let it rest and tell myself I am being taken care of as best as science knows how.

    I myself am getting an ICD in about 16 hours because I also have NSVT. I currently take beta blockers, but they hope to increase them when I have the ICD because right now I can't tolerate them too well when my heart rate slows down too much. They are also going to pace my heart so I am hoping the beta blockers will do the trick, because I really would rather stay off of anti arrythmics. I am 38 myself, and have a toddler to chase after.
    Daughter of Father with HCM
    Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
    Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
    ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
    Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

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    • #3
      WITH ALL DUE RESPECT to our friends in the UK (which is where the Cardiomyopathy Association is located), they use anti-arrythmics far more freely there then here in the USA. It is a different style of management. They do not implant as many devices (we are implanting about 200 per million people - UK is like 10 per million) - therefore they do use far more meds to manage VT we choose devices and less meds to avoid toxic effects.

      Lisa
      Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
      YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

      Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
      lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
      Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
      Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
      Currently not obstructed
      Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

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      • #4
        Thanks for the info guys. I'll relax and know my cardiologist knows best!
        <\'\'();:::::;~

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