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Stopped smoking. What could be causing the fast heart beat? Concerned

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Practicing since : 1981
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hi i smoked 2 pulls off a joint last night, i have not smoked in 3 weeks. the reason i had stopped was bc i had went into atrial fibrillation one evening (A couple hrs after smoking so idont know if it had anything to d w it) and so my doctor advised me to relax and not drink and cut caffeine, but they had told me that the weed shouldn't be an issue. i was prior to this incident a heavy smoker for a good number of years, i smoked on a daily basis and never felt this feeling before. is this a fluke or will i continue to get my heart racing until i get used to smoking again? please dont use this forum to tell me your views on marijuana, i just want to know the truth about what my options are and if i need to cut it out for good i will.
pls note after i smoked about 5 minutes after my heart raced from 83 bpm to 125 bpm and stayed around 105 for a good 25-45minutes before finally coming back down to a more normal rate. this concerned me since i am on a beta blocker, why would my heart still race?
Posted Sat, 1 Sep 2012 in Heart Rate and Rhythm Disorders
Answered by Dr. Anil Grover 2 hours later
Hi there,
Thanks for writing in.
I am a qualified and certified cardiologist. I read your question with diligence. Usually the effect on heart rhythm are while smoking. But you could be one of those vulnerable population where it has unmasked underlying arrhythmia that atrial filbrillation. Initially, the rate would vary (like 83 to 125 that is normal for this condition) but gradually become stable. You will have to see your doctor to find out whether you need any drug to become stable early. Also, doctor can make an assessment whether there are chances of your regaining normal sinus rhythm. Here I am quoting from National Institute of Health about effect of weed smoking on heart. I quote:

Effects on the Heart
Marijuana increases heart rate by 20-100 percent shortly after smoking; this effect can last up to 3 hours. In one study, it was estimated that marijuana users have a 4.8-fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the first hour after smoking the drug.5 This may be due to increased heart rate as well as the effects of marijuana on heart rhythms, causing palpitations and arrhythmias. This risk may be greater in aging populations or in those with cardiac vulnerabilities. end of quote.

If you have any further query you can ask, I shall be happy to answer.
With Best Wishes
Dr Anil Grover,
Medical Specialist & Cardiologist
M.B.;B.S, M.D. (Internal Medicine) D.M.(Cardiology)
http://www/ WWW.WWWW.WW

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