Anyone out there, when first put on this medication, hospitalized to watch for severe side effects? I have never taken any meds for my AF and am frankly, just scared to try it. Although I gather from most posts that the majority of people on flecainide have benefitted. At first my AF was severe and would happen walking across a room, and the ablations stopped that, but now it only happens when I over exert myself in the gym. So my thought process is just keep it at bay by not over doing the cardio and forget the medication. Any advice? I see my EP doc again Feb. 17 to possibly begin the flecainide. I also had open heart surgery for tricuspid valve replacement in 2002 due to rheumatic fever and a year or so after the open heart surgery is when the AF started.
I'm 63, in generally good health and active. I had one ablation 5 years ago. The major cause of my AFIB and AF is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or a genetic thickening of the heart wall. ( www.4hcm.org/ ) After my ablation and the implantation of an automatic defibrillator, I still had up to 12 hours of severe AF a day. My doctors (Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston) adjusted medications and worked up a combination of Flecanide and Verapamil which worked fairly well. That meant one significant 4 to 10 hour debilitating AF/AFIB attack every 4 to 6 weeks. After having a new lead ("Medtronics Warranty Recall") installed along with a new ICD this past March, my AFIB got much worse. In August, my medical team recommended a change to Tambocor which is brand name Flecanide. Same dosage of 150 mg twice/day. I coincidentally stopped smoking at the same time. I had been at 1 pack per day. I have only had 1 mild episode of AF/AFIB since. I'm amazed at the difference.
Side effects - The side effects I notice are a generally fuzzy thought process, lesser short term memory, and variable blurred vision. Although these seem important (and they are) the fact that I have no AF/AFIB is more important, at least to me.
I am majority owner and operating CEO of a small 23 year old corporation, drove race cars professionally, and still hunt, fish, and boat extensively. The trade off was worth it!
I hope this perspective helps. Everyone's situation is different!
Get good doctors and trust them! Flecanide my have other arrhythmia effects initially which is why they want you in the hospital to begin therapy. After a few days they can predict the outcome and you can go home!
- Flecainide Information for Consumers
- Flecainide Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Flecainide (detailed)
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