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Can Rythmol help with heart arrhythmia?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1981
Answered : 824 Questions
Question
Am a 50-yr-old woman who's suffered my whole life from a heart arrhythmia. As a teen I had episodes of tachycardia preceded by premature heartbeats. I don't have the racing heart anymore but the frequency of the ectopic or premature beats has increased dramatically--especially lately as I approach menopause. I've also had episodes of several "off" heartbeats in a row. Is this a heart "flutter"? My family doctor prescribed a beta blocker--Atenolol--that I've taken for years, but it hasn't helped my arrhythmia, and my doctor doesn't seem interested in giving me something else that would help me. A friend of mine has the same issue and she is taking a drug called Rythmol and says it's been wonderful and hasn't had an episode since. Would this drug be good for me? I need something as these episodes frighten me and my family doctor hasn't helped me. Can you tell me about it and if this or another drug would benefit me?
Posted Sat, 9 Aug 2014 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
 
 
Answered by Dr. Karen Steinberg 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Need to know the type of arrhythmia first

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thank you for using Healthcare Magic. I am not sure what you me by "off" heartbeats, but I am guessing you mean these are different from the arrhythmia you have had your whole life. There are different types of heart "flutters" and the medicine used for them will be different. But first you have to know which type it is so you know which medicine to prescribe. Taking the wrong medicine could actually make things much worse.

At this point, you should consider seeing a cardiologist. If your premature beats are PVCs and you are starting to have short runs of them, this is very serious. Even if they are PACs, runs of them could be a paroxysmal atrial flutter or fibrillation. You need to have a Holter monitor or event monitor, in which you wear an EKG monitor for several days to try to catch the rhythm when it occurs. I would be especially concerned if you are having symptoms with the arrhythmia such as lightheadedness, shortness of breath, dizziness, or near-fainting. Call for emergency services if that happens, or if the arrhythmia persists.

Contact a cardiologist promptly. He or she can set up the monitoring, and will probably do other tests to see what may be happening with your heart, such as a stress test and echocardiogram. But please do not experiment with any medicine trying to control the arrhythmia until you know what it is and the cardiologist can give you one that will help and not hurt.

I hope this answers your query. If you have further questions, I would be happy to answer them.
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