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Question:

What should I do about these PVCs and PACs which worry me?

I have PVC's [premature ventricular contractions] and PAC's [premature atrial contractions] daily. I have had every heart test imaginable and they cannot find one thing wrong with me. I am a 50 year old female. I know they say that "occasional" palpitations are nothing to worry about. Is occasional considered once a minute, once and hour, once a day, once a week? I feel every single one of these darn things. My last Holter records 24 PAC's and 55 PVC's. I also get this feeling every so often when my heart starts fluttering for a few seconds and then does a big bang and goes by to normal. I have been under a lot of stress recently and wonder if this is the reason for it doing this. I can get this a couple of times a week or sometimes a couple of times a year. It has just been twice this week so far and it worries me! Cardio seems to think I am a-okay but I worry so much about these sensations. Can you clarify? Thank you!  

submitted Cathy from Canada on 3/13/2012

Answer:

Mohammad Saeed, MDby Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Mohammad Saeed, MD    

PACs and PVCs are very common and usually not treated unless:
A) They are causing symptoms; like in your case, or
B) Are very frequent; usually thousands in number in a 24 hour period.
In your case, treatment with a low-dose antiarrhythmic drug (such as flecainide) should be tried and will most likely provide symptomatic relief. Please discuss with your cardiologist.     

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Updated March 2012
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Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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