Premature Atrial Complexes (PACs): I have them, how do they affect you?

By HeartHawk Latest Reply 2012-04-10 22:42:50 -0500
Started 2011-10-26 23:09:00 -0500

PACs can be confusing, irritating and frustrating. Here is a good article form one of my favorite docs that talks about it.

They certainly made me both anxious and depressed. I solved my problem with knowledge, study and 25mg of atenolol but it took years. If you suffer this maladay what do your docs say and what do you do to treat it? What works - what doesn't? WHat is your experience?


6 replies

surveywizgc 2011-11-05 12:35:58 -0500 Report

I had to wear an event monitor for two weeks as an EP doc I was seeing was trying to get an idea of where my arrythmias were coming from. They did notice I had several instances of PACs or PVSs (I can't remember which one he said) and a few runs of over 150 bpms in conjunction with the PAC's. Is this something I should be concerned about? I have had more frequent palpatations and angina attacks over the past 1 1/2 years as well as more frequent dizzy spells but they said they couldn't find anything that they could "fix". Both the EP doc and cardio doc cannot figure out what is going on. So, I am on hold. And, yes, I am in a meditation pattern and finding ways to relax but the symptoms are frequent occurances. Palps happen almost everyday, angina a few times a week, and dizzy spells come and go in frequency and severity. EP doc says it may be I am overly sensitive about what is going on with my heart but there is nothing he can do at this point. I can't take medications due to severe adverse reactions. I just want to give up trying and let nature take it's course.

HeartHawk 2012-04-10 22:42:50 -0500 Report


Here's a couple suggestions.

  1. Ask your doc about prescribing a low dose beta-blocker like atenolol or nebivolol. It is very empowering to be able to pop one or two whenever you feel the need. The dose is small enough that you don't have to worry about complications but powerful enough that it gives you a little physical and as well as mental boost simply because it puts you in control.

  2. Look into a program and device known as HeartMath. It helps improve parasympathetic nervous system activity which slows heart rate. Your sympathetic nervous system (heart rate increasing) is likely overpowering and throwing your central nervous system out of balance.


redorangedog 2011-11-03 16:12:44 -0500 Report

Redorangedog, When I had to go to the ED for chest pain, I had to wear a cardiac monitor. I saw a few pacs and became even more interested in watching the monitor. Then I saw a couple of pacs together ( called couplets ) and felt like my heart was skipping beats. This change of events made me feel a bit uneasy. Then I started to see runs of pacs, three to four together on the monitor. This made me call for the nurse, when the nurse came I showed him what was troubling me. He said "cool, I'll go run a strip for your chart." I called for the Doctor that was standing by my door. I frantically told him that I was having runs of pacs three followed by four a complex. He said "me too, it is so hectic in here today, can't wait to leave." Luckily for me, my doctor came to see me, because I was about to have an anxiety attack. I asked him to look at the monitor. He said, " If that was me, what would you do?" " I would tell you to relax and take some deep breaths, listen to the the sound of the waves coming into the shore, so rhythmically, so slow and evenly." Everybody has pacs, they are not life-threatening, they can be controlled by meditating and controlling your breathing if you remain calm and proceed to help yourself. The nurse came back with a tranquilizer and my doctor said, "great, I can really use one of those today, she does not need it anymore. She knows how to chill on her own." That is one of my favorite memories, and the best techniques I have learned. It is great at the dentist office when you are in the chair. Sometime after that experience, I had eight dental implants placed in my mouth. It took 6and1/2 hours. I was fully awake and had many local pain injections in my mouth. When the doctor was finished, he asked me, "where were you? Because you were not in that chair." I told him "Tahiti." Meditation is a very ancient and useful practice, I fully endorse it.

HeartHawk 2011-11-04 22:55:03 -0500 Report


I would also suggest you look at HeartMath and Heart Rate Variability control.