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Palpitations at nite keeping me awake

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  • Palpitations at nite keeping me awake

    Hi all, been a while since I posted, have been lurking once in a while. My condition has been ever so slowly changing (have trouble with uphills now).. but the new symptom that is really taking a toll is the night palps. I lie down, and my heart beats very strong, not necessarily fast (well, sometimes it is around 90).. and I keep changing positions etc etc, sometimes it subsides other times it goes on and on to where I just sit up and read until it subsides. Often it will wake me from a deep sleep as well.

    My surgeon and cardio had both told me I could start on a very low dosage of Metropol last year if palps bother me, with the caveat that BP might fall causing some light headedness. I never acted on that suggestion, but am now considering it. I know I'll probably be on Metropol for life after surgery, was trying to avoid it before. Should I just start taking it?

    THanks as always,
    In the waiting room with moderate-severe Mitral Regurgitation w/ Bi-leaflet Prolapse

  • #2
    Nupur, before surgery, I experienced palpitations that left me exhausted. They appeared during the day with activity but the worst were those at night. Caffeine was also a primary trigger that set them off. I did not take Metoprolol before surgery but I did take it for 6 months after. The problem your doctor mentioned was just what happened to me. My heartbeat periodically dropped well into the 40s which left me ready to drop off to sleep so I was quite happy to stop taking the beta blocker; I think most people can stop taking Metoprolol some months after surgery. Wonderfully, from the first day I was awake after surgery I no longer had palpitations. If you are still using caffeine, I would suggest you stop and see if that helps. Take care.

    AVR 22 SEP 09
    Carpentier-Edwards Bovine Pericardial "Magna" with Sternal Talons
    Oklahoma Heart Institute, Tulsa, OK


    • #3
      Hi Nupur. I'm new here but like you am in the waiting room for mitral valve replacement.

      A couple of months ago my cardio put me on a low dose of Metoprolol (25mg twice a day) in order to lower my heart rate for a CT scan. One of my symptoms prior to this was unpleasant, forceful palpitations at random times during the day and night. The medication certainly helped alleviate the palpitations, I have very few episodes now, BUT it does have other side effects - the light headedness is not too bad but what has dismayed me is how much worse my stamina and shortness of breath on exercising is. I can only walk at a very slow pace now, even on the flat. :( If you are already finding hills, and perhaps stairs a slight problem then do be aware that this medication may make these situations a little more difficult for you.

      The final decision is up to you, I just thought I would share my experience of this medication prior to surgery with you so you can weigh up the pros and cons. Good luck!

      ~ Chris
      58yo female. Carbomedics 33mm mechanical mitral valve implanted: May 17th 2011 - Trent Cardiac Centre, Nottingham City Hospital, England.


      • #4
        Hi Nupur,
        I'm also new to the site. I had a couple of wild bouts with ventricular tachycardia (ER visits with a heartrate of 210bpm stopped only by electro cardioversion) and wound up on toprol 25mg which did have a tiring and lightheaded effect. But ultimately the condition was resolved thru catheter ablation at Mt. Sinai in NY in Feb. Then this summer, when I was scheduled for mitral valve repair, I had bouts of accelerated heart rate. It was determined that it was anxiety before surgery and some anti-anxiety meds helped. After surgery they put me back on toprol for a while as a precaution but that's done. I'm not sure if you're waiting for repair or replacement but I wish you well.
        Ventricular Tachycardia successfully treated by catheter ablation May 18, 2012 at Mt. Sinai, NYC; endocarditis March/April 2010; Robotically-assisted Mitral Valve repair for Barlow's syndrome July 14, 2010 at the Cleveland Clinic.


        • #5
          Hello Nupur,

          I was wondering about your recently, especially last week when I and hubby went up north close to your area and stayed for about ten days.

          Sorry about your palpitations, but if they do bother you, I would give Toprol a try as this will also help your heart stay stronger until surgery. Start with the lowest dose and maybe only at night.

          Good luck and keep us posted.

          Aortic & Mitral valves replaced with St. Jude Mechanical valves @ age 57 on 9/2/08

          INR home tester/Coagucheck

          Forum Rules: " .... medical opinions expressed in this forum are the personal opinions of individuals. No person should at any time
          act on the information contained herein without the express consent of your own physician."


          • #6
            Another thing to check is to see if you are retaining too much fluid. Press your shins and look at the divits. Are they deep? Do the take awhile to subside? That is a typical sign of fluid retention. Swollen ankles and/or feet is another sign. The usual treatment is to take a diuretic (by prescription from your Doc).

            'AL Capshaw.


            • #7
              Thank you everybody for the replies.

              Eva, you should let me know next up you come up here, I would love to meet you.. I read the forum less to keep my mind off heart related matters and my anxiety under check : )

              Al, no, I don't retain water as far as I can see.. the palps are weird, they wake me up with the intensity, I wouldn't say it's really fast but probably around 85...which itself is weird while at rest.. but it keeps going for a while, at least 5 - 10 minutes before slowly subsiding. Sometimes I feel like there is a little thud of some sort. I am not very good at checking my pulse for skipped beats and such.. and I don't wake my husband up most of the time..

              I do also notice that my heart beats very hard everytime I come up the stairs and it takes longer to subside than it used to..

              I am going to the Cardio before my appointed time next Jan for echo and consult to talk about this, because it is really affecting my sleep. If she says to try a low dosage of Torpol, I will give it a try! Will keep you all posted.. thanks as always, and happy holidays!
              In the waiting room with moderate-severe Mitral Regurgitation w/ Bi-leaflet Prolapse


              • #8
                My bad news for you is that I never had this problem PRE-op, but I experienced it POST-op! Now (3 weeks post-op) it seems to have faded a lot, but for a while I think the main thing interrupting my sleep was my "heart beating out of my chest"! While awake, I'd notice it in my gut or in my throat. But it was the big loud beats in the throat that seemed to wake me up.

                I think the take-home message is that "It's not easy being a heart," and it's especially hard being one with defective parts or that's been through traumatic surgery recently.
                BAV, extended ARoot, some MV damage.
                68 y.o. (65 @OHS), keen active athlete until shortly pre-op, only symptomatic 1-2 months pre-op.
                AVR (Medtronics Hancock II) Dec. 1 2010 w/ Dr. C.M. Feindel at UHN aka Toronto General. Also a "tuck" on the Aortic root, and a (Dacron) Medtronics Simplici-T ring on my MV. I did ACT for 3 months for the ring, and Metoprolol (BB) for 3 months for A-fib.