racing pulse

I was sitting at the computer typing on Friday when my pacemaker started shocking me around the implant device area and my pulse started racing. I felt terrible, head pounding, and drove to the doctor's office. They checked my pacemaker and said that my pulse shot up to 226 beats per minute and that my pacemaker was set to shock it back down if it went over 125. I have been having tachycardia for seven months and am on Nadolol 40 mg but this isn't stopping these episodes of racing heartbeat that occur every three to four weeks. I started having racing heartrate and had it for seven months before I got this pacemaker because I was told after wearing a holter monitor for a week that sometimes my heart was slowing down to a dangerous level. What is wrong with me? How can I have tachycardia and bradycardia alternating like this? Has anyone heard of this before?


Racing pulse

by Vai - 2008-03-24 01:03:03

A few comments & suggestions:-
1. A pacemaker does not shock you nor treat your tachycardia. I think what you mean is that the PM hign setting is set at 125 bpm and is programmed to intervene and attempt to regulate your heart rate if it races beyond 125 bpm. It does so by sending electrical pulses to counteract the hearts racing arrythmia. Unfortunately this does not always work.
2. The PM is actually designed and does a better job to support your heart rate at the lower setting in episodes of bradycardia (slow heart rate). If your PM lower setting is 60 bpm, then it sends electrical pulses to your heart to help it beat at 60 bpm if your natural heart rate falls below this level.
3. Check out your drug Nadolol. This betablocker is prescribed to slow down your heart rate and relieve your tachycardia. However your dosage of 40 mg is about the minimum dosage for an adult. If this does not help relieve your tachycardia, you may want to ask your doctor about increasing the dosage. Please do NOT change or increase dosage yourself. Adult dosage for this drug ranges from 40mg to 320 mg per day.
4. Check out your PM lower setting. Is it at 50 or 60 or 70 bpm, or somewhere in between? You can work with your doc to find a comfortable and stable level. My lower setting is 60 bpm, and my drug dosage keeps my heart rate at about 60-70 bpm (took a fair bit of experimentation to find the level just right for me). I am on Sotalol 80 mg twice per day.
5. What is your frequency of using the 40mg Nadolol per day? Do you take it once per day and at the same time every day? or you take it split it to 20mg but twice per day, aso same time of day? This has a bearing. If I miss a dosage by more than 4 hours, I can usually feel tne arrythmia kicking in. You may want to consider if you are taking the dosage on a regular and timely basis.

Good luck in finding a solution!

Tachy-Brady Syndrome

by Carol - 2008-03-24 01:03:15

Hi lizzy,
Sounds as though you may have tachy-brady syndrome. At one point I was thought to have this, but was ruled out. If you google this on the internet you can find more detailed info as to cause and symptoms. It is a heart rate that does indeed alternate between high (tachycardia) and low (bradycardia) rates...hence the name Tachy-Brady. Good luck and feel better,


by TKS - 2008-03-24 05:03:31

I was diagnosed with tachy-brady syndrome in 2006. My PM controls only the low heart rate. It paces when I fall below 60 BPM. It does not pace at the higher rate, it just monitors. My tachacardia is controlled with medication. I am on Toprol XL 50 mg once a day. It took quite a while to get the right amount of medication so don't get discouraged if it takes time. Talk to your Dr. about the meds and hopefully you will find what works to control the tachycardia.

Good luck and take care!


Pacemaker Working Properly?

by Lou - 2008-03-24 08:03:03

Hello Lizzy,
Carol is right! There is a tachy-brady syndrome which you may have and I hope you will Google the details. However, I want to make sure I understand your dilemma correctly. Are you saying that you have a pacemaker designed specifically for controlling BOTH tachycardia and bradycardia rates? Yet, you are still having a runaway heart rate every 3 or 4 weeks which the pacemaker doesn't catch or control? If you are answering "yes" to these two questions as you read this, it would seem to me that your pacemaker should be checked by a technician from the company who made the device to make sure it is working properly.
My Best! Lou

racing heart

by Pacing2 - 2008-03-24 11:03:05

I have been reading lot longer than I have been writin and I don't want to make nobody mad, but if I understand all you is being told, I don't agree with some of it. They do make pacemakers to treat bradycardia and tachycardia. And I know for a fact a pacemaker can shock the heck outa you. At least if feels enough like an electrical shock it will sho pass for one. It will be sudden last for a few-tnerths of a second and sting like the devil. It can be caused by the volts beingset to high, a break in a lead inslation, bad connection or just the electrical impulse from the pacemaker making it to a nerve and other things I'm sure. Anyways I am including something I found about the pacemakers that can control tachycardia and bradycardia when needed.

There is a pacemaker for tachycardia control which comprises a detector for sensing the onset of a tachycardia, a generator responsive to the detector for issuing a stimulating pulse to the heart for arresting the tachycardia, a second detector for sensing the response of the heart to the stimulating pulse and if the tachycardia was not arrested, for determining if the pulse was issued at an incorrect early or late time relative to the tachycardia beat, and a controller for the stimulating pulse generator responsive to the second detector whereby, when the tachycardia is not arrested, to cause a subsequent stimulating pulse to be issued at an adjusted later or earlier time relative to the tachycardia beat.

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