PM and Meds

Hi again,

l am relatively new to PM and this club so first let me say hi to all of you. I have afib and high BP. The beta-blocker (ZIAC) I was taking was slowing my irregular heart down to much so I had a dual chamber Guidant Insignia PM implanted on November 13th. At that time I was switched to Toprol for the high blood pressure and there is come discussions about being put on Coumadin. Do any of you have a similar situation. I have heard some negative comments about Toprol on other sites and I really would like to avoid the Coumadin as I ride horses and am still very active at 56 yrs. Any thoughts, comments, suggestions, much appreciate.



PM & meds & Coumadin

by aldeer - 2007-11-24 02:11:55

Coumadin has to be a very personal choice. I have had your afib & high BP for 10 years, and it took many different meds to find what worked for me. Even had four cardioversions in one year, but I kept going back into fib. When it was obvious the last med (Rythmol) was no longer controlling AFib, I recently had my AVnode ablation and was told I had to be on Coumadin for life because I will always be in Afib, but because there is a block to the atrial, and my lead is connected to the ventricle I do not feel it. I had been on coumadin for five years and then while on coumadin, I took a very nasty fall and fell head down. I ended up in the hospital with surgery for bilateral subdural hematomas and almost died. I did go off coumadin (personal choice because my balance was affected) for about eight months, but am now back on it because I realize how important it is for me. You just have to really be aware of any injuries with your horseback riding. Many, many people are on coumadin. I will be 80 on Christmas eve, so my exercise is limited to swimming and walking. You are much too young to quit your favorite sports, so what ever your choice, please just enjoy!

PM and Meds

by SMITTY - 2007-11-24 06:11:07

Hi Stuie,

I am currently taking Toprol XL and it is about the 10th beta blocker various doctors have tried me on in the last 25 or so years. The only thing I can say for them is they, without fail, have slowed my heart rate and among other things have made me feel like death warmed over.

So, let that be your warning that anything I have to say about beta blockers is biased.

I can't tell you all the differences in ZIAC and Toprol but I do know is the ZIAC includes a diuretic, whereas with Toprol a person usually has to take the diuretic separately. These two beta blockers, as do all beta blockers, are likely to have one or more of the following side effects.

Blurred vision
Breathing difficulties
Easy bruising or bleeding
Swollen hands or feet (from fluid retention)
Sore throat
Decreased sex drive
Increased thirst
Muscle pain or weakness
Slow or irregular heartbeat
In addition, because beta-blockers reduce blood circulation to the extremities, your hands and feet may be more susceptible to the cold.

Then that list is followed with: If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. My thought has always been, Jesus, what is there left?

Now I am aware that some people have found beta blockers to be just what they needed, so maybe some of those folks will step up and have something good to say about them.

As for the coumadin, I have had to take it a few of times in my life, the most recent beign after an episode of A-Fib. So long as I had regular blood tests and kept the dosage at the correct level for me, it was no problem, except for the tendency to bruise a little more than I liked. As for the horse riding, while I don't do that, I have a couple of kids that think that is the greatest sport in the world and I do got on trail rides with them occasionally. I drive the chuck wagon for them. But, unless you make a habit of falling off horses I can't see where coumadin would be a problem. In fact our oldest son, a horse rider, was on coumadin as part of his medication for A-fib a couple of years ago and he never stopped riding.

Good luck,


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