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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Does pinched nerve lead to atrial fibrillation?

My wife is a 64 year old with an apparent pinched nerve in the mid back which is causing hip pain. She has taken Excedrin and ibuprofin with little result. I suggested hydrocodone , but she is concerned that it might cause atrial fibrillation. Is this pain killer not indicated?
Tue, 6 Sep 2016
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Internal Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Atrial fibrillation is a arrhythmia characterized by rapid, uncoordinated electrical activity and an irregularly irregular heart response. Medications are usually not a cause of atrial fibrillation unless they cause an electrolyte abnormality. Generally A. Fib. is caused by hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart failure, obesity, and lung disease. Alcohol and caffeine, as well as hyperthyroidism and diabetes have also been associated with A. Fib.

Therefore, to reduce your risk of atrial fibrillation, you should adequate control your blood pressure, loss weight, and avoid alcohol.

I would not recommend hydrocodone long term for the hip pain. Your best option is to find a primary care doctor that can do any injection into the hip. The injection will relieve the pain, associated swelling, and hopefully the pinched nerve. In the meantime, I would continue ibuprofen and tylenol. Also, rest and ice will help.
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